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Posts Tagged ‘Love the Path to Knowing God’

Thought for Today

Come Away

Come Away!

“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Song of songs 2:16

The call of God to His own is always one to new places of intimacy in relationship. Not only does He call but He speaks words of endearment to those who follow after Him. His own know Him as “Beloved” and He calls us “my fair one” There is no plurality here; He is not speaking to a congregation or a crowd. He is calling out to one who is the object of His great love.

In religious circles the call is broad; it is a generic call and the references are impersonal. Those who are His know this intense and personal relationship. There is a singular flow of His life and love unto those who are following Him. The focus of the individual’s heart is all about Him. In the seeing of Him the world becomes dim and distant and its temptations start to lose their power and attraction. It is out of this wonder of Him drawing near that we feel the power of His love rising in our hearts to respond to the call of a deeper knowing of Him. This call is characterized by words of incomprehensible beauty: “my fair one”. Who can resist such undeserved love? Who is able to fathom such redemptive love? How can we ever measure or understand its cause or the depths from which its flows?

Lost within the broad landscape of religion, and a world gone mad with the voices and the rantings of men who think they have the answers, there is the “still small voice”. It draws the heart with whispers of grace and affection; “come away my fair one… come to Me”.

Within this growing relationship the need to fortify our place in Him with the teachings and doctrines of men disappears for His love itself becomes our surety and solace. His love constrains us to willingly arise from where we are to follow on to deeper places of affection and wonder. We touch the holy atmosphere of His cords of love that embrace us setting our own hearts ablaze with their fervency. The words flowing between the “beloved” and the “my fair one” are the language of this holy union:

“I am my beloved’s,
and my beloved is mine”
Song of songs 6:3

He is hers because she is His!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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GOD’S ARITHMETIC

Loss & Gain

the-measure-of-life

“But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ”
Philippians 3:7

In this scripture we read the language of one in whom the Cross of Christ was a living reality. This expression is the “the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”. The power of God revealed within the life of an individual is summed up in this one verse. Men and women may fast and pray for this power but the essence of God is expressed through the lives of those who walk in the substance of this truth.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth…”
Romans 1:16

Religious people often pray for things that only obedience can unlock. Prayer is essential to a life in the Spirit; it is through prayer that we find Grace and divine enablement to live the life of obedience. Religion attempts to replace obedience with prayer. The true Christian experience is through prayer we become obedient. When power is lacking in God’s house it is the result of the church embracing a crossless Gospel. The Gospel of the Cross of Christ will bring His Life, His Power, His character and His Glory into this dark world through the medium of a surrendered people.

“But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ”
Philippians 3:7

The measure of all that we do, embrace, declare and allow into our lives is to be measured by this one principle: His Life in us. The decree of God is such that in order to live in one realm we must experience death in the other. We cannot find life in this world and expect to hold on to His Life in the other. We are living in a day of choice. Discipleship is a decision that no one else can make for us. It is a decision of the heart; a decision based upon love. What men love they serve, as Jesus sums up so succinctly in this verse…

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
Luke 12:34

It takes very little discernment in our interactions with others to discover what the treasure is in their lives. Out of the abundance of the heart men speak and thereby reveal their primary love.

“So is he that lays up treasure for himself,
and is not rich toward God”
Luke 12:21

Spiritual poverty is the result of the choices we make. We are the “epistles” read of all men. The depth and power of God is expressed through “earthen vessels” and as such we must bear the responsibility for the life we express. We have lost sight of our responsibility to show forth His light and life in this world. It is the fruit of a Gospel which has lost sight of God; a gospel that is centered upon people rather than God. Where men absolve themselves of accountability and relegate their walk to words, teaching and statements of faith, Godlessness and unrighteousness become acceptable. It is in such a time that God raises up the Prophetic to “show the (heavenly) house to the (earthly/fallen) house” (Ezekiel 43:10).

“Thou son of man,
shew the house to the house of Israel,
that they may be ashamed of their iniquities…”
Ezekiel 43:10

The religion of today wants to be able to love this world, walk and live in the ways of this world and yet take hold of all the things of God. Such things will never be.

“Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him”
1 John 2:15

It is through the true fellowship of the Spirit and in the worship of Him where the things of His life become more real to us than the dim things of earth. Wherever His people gather and commune together in the Love of Jesus that men and women are drawn out of this world and into His.

“But ye, beloved,
building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
unto eternal life”
Jude 1:20-21

Ω

“This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying–the delicate seed-globe must break up now–it gives and gives till it has nothing left.”
~L. Trotter

Art Work by Lilias Trotter (14 July 1853 – 28 August 1928) A Missionary who poured out her life to the call of Christ in Algeria. Her artwork is the expression of her devotion to that Call.

Brian Troxel

http://www.aword.info

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Hope Will Not Disappoint

“And (the) hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”
Romans 5:5

Hope will not bring a true believer to shame for the true hope is not a whimsical wish or vain thought. The true hope is a power that holds one’s heart firm in the midst of storm and trial.

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and stedfast,
and which entereth into that within the veil”
Hebrews 6:19

In Hebrews the living Hope of His own is equated to an anchor for the soul. The purpose of an anchor is to hold a boat firm so it does not drift away from its position. The line to which the anchor is attached passes out of sight, a picture of faith and hope in the common course of life. The anchor has no ability to hold on its own. It must find its resting place on the terra-firma below. It is not an empty religious hope; it is a hope that “enters in within the veil”. The inner sanctum of the temple/tabernacle is called the Holy of Holies. It is the place where God dwelt and manifested Himself. “The Hope” (as rendered in the Greek) is not some imagined expectation based on hearsay. It is the power of the fruit of faith, an anchor to the very soul of man. The power of Hope brings men and women to a life of stability and authenticity. There can be no stability in those who are not authentic. Those who live and walk for appearance sake only will not withstand the storms of life. It is in those storms that we are made bare. Not only is The Hope an anchor for our soul, it is also a living power to purge us of all pretense and ignorance. It beckons us to be “…found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”. This Hope works in the lives of His own to penetrate the fog of our own thinking and the deceitfulness of our own hearts to bring us to the light and glory of the One who dwells within the veil.

“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1 John 3:3

This Hope pulsates with the very light of God and rests in the character of His being. It is an anchor through relationship with Him who is immovable. Hope brings character, for character is the revelation of a pure heart.

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”
James 1:8

Left to ourselves, by nature we are double minded (or as the Greek would render it (“double souled”). The religious man seeks to serve God and self but as Jesus spoke so clearly “no man can serve two masters…” Sooner or later the choice must be made and the life revealed. It is as we hold on to this living hope that a fire is set within and we know the purging and purifying power of His hope. “This hope” makes not ashamed, will not disappoint and will not leave us “barren nor unfruitful” in the things of our God.

“And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”
Romans 5:5

The end of “the Hope” makes us not ashamed “because the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost”! The true and living Hope of God working within the lives of His own must culminate in God’s Love being expressed in our lives! His hope will not allow us to be ashamed because His Love will be the surety of its own authenticity.

“He that loves not knows not God; for God is love”
1 John 4:8

Ω

“And now faith, hope, and love,
these three things remain;
but the greatest of these is love”
1 Corinthians 13:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Discovering God’s Ways

THE SEALED BOOK AND OUR BOAZ

“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
Ruth 3:7

We live in a day of information overload with data available at the click of a finger. This data, transferable at incredible speeds, can be accessed from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. A whole Bible translation can be downloaded in less than a minute. One would think if ever there was a day where men could know God surely this is would be that day. Yet there has never been a day of greater darkness upon the world. The Word itself testifies of this day…

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book, even to the time of the end:
many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall be increased”
Daniel 12:4

We read here that “even to the time of the end” Daniel’s words are shut up and the book sealed (ready to be revealed in these days Ephesians 3:5) while men run from place to place and knowledge is increased. Knowledge will never pry open the mysteries of God. Men in their pursuit of knowledge will never access those Holy places of Divine Revelation and Understanding. We have seen endless books written about such things but with the passage of time they are often found futile and obsolete. Time itself is the verification of all truth. Men peering into the pages of the sacred scriptures (without an eternal view) will always seek to bend truth to the moment in which they live to support their agendas. God will not reveal His ways to such. The Greeks sought God by wisdom and the Jews through religious works and miraculous signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). Our world is now filled with a multitude of religions and Christian sects comprised to varying degrees of the mixture of these two carnal ways; an effort to conciliate the unfulfilled cry within their hearts and the search for value and meaning.

“…the world by wisdom knew not God”
1 Corinthians 1:21

The discovery of God’s ways is out of reach to the carnal man. It is not to be found in the accumulation of data, nor in the religious works of men, nor in the “running to and fro” of men to conferences, teachers and sages. For Truth is a person (Jesus said “I am the Truth”) not a teaching or doctrine (John 14:6). He is the living TRUTH, (1Timothy 2:5) Eternal, Just and True and His ways are past finding out. Truth is, in all reality, the life of Jesus living within man. The measure of truth within a man is revealed in the life that he lives!

“Ye shall know the truth
and the truth will make you free”
John 8:32

No amount of teaching or the accumulation of data will set a man free from himself and the world around Him. No more than a man by jumping with all of his strength can free himself from the law of gravity. It takes a power and a life to so invade a man as to effect such a radical change from within that men are able to know this freedom of which Jesus spoke. This power is found in only One and His name is Jesus. It is in Him that men “move and have their being” (the Greek here is literally “are”). It is to this end “that all creation is groaning and travailing” (Romans 8:19-23). Through man’s disobedience, enticed by the promise of eating of the tree of knowledge, the Book of Life was sealed and man became subject to the “law of sin and death”. The sealing of this Book was in accordance to the law of Righteousness just as a man who disobeys earthly laws is subject to imprisonment and loss of liberty. This Book of Life was sealed in heavenly places out of the reach of fallen man.

The Sealed Book
Revelation 5:1-14

When John saw the “sealed book” in heaven he wept for there was no man who was worthy to open it!

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne
a book written within and on the backside,
sealed with seven seals

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?

And no man in heaven, nor in earth,
neither under the earth, was able to open the book,
neither to look thereon

And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:1-4

This Book of Life was sealed through man’s disobedience and the only way for it to be opened was by a Man whose obedience was perfect and complete. While John wept over the “sealed book” an Elder spoke to him…

“Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof.

And I beheld, and, lo,
in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts,
and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb
as it had been slain,
having seven horns and seven eyes,
which are the seven Spirits of God
sent forth into all the earth.

And he came
and took the book
out of the right hand of Him
that sat upon the throne”
Revelation 5:5-7

We must pause here and give all Glory to Jesus for He has prevailed! He came and took the Book out of the Hand of God Almighty and opened it on our behalf! The reason we have life is because He overcame and in the ministration of His Life into us we are also to overcome. His desire is to bring forth a people who will rule and reign with Him; not on the basis of a teaching but because of the operation of His Life within us producing and bringing forth His Victory in our own experience.

“And when he had taken the book,
the four beasts and four and twenty elders
fell down before the Lamb,
having every one of them harps,
and golden vials full of odours,
which are the prayers of saints.

And they sung a new song, saying,
Thou art worthy to take the book,
and to open the seals thereof:
for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood
out of every kindred, and tongue,
and people, and nation”
Revelation 5:8-9

The drama of this transaction being played out in the heavens resulted in all of heaven worshipping and glorifying Jesus, the Lamb of God! The scriptures declare “Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” We see here the fruit and reward of His Obedience and Suffering. Shall we not in this hour find in Him the strength, virtue and ability to overcome the trials in our day? Knowing this on a doctrinal level is not sufficient to impart the ability to abide in these living truths. Jesus said that the “words He speaks are Spirit and Life”. As such they can only be received by a heart which is compliant to His Will and abiding in His Spirit.

“And we are his witnesses of these things;
and so is also the Holy Ghost,
whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Acts 5:32

The depth of our receiving of His Holy Spirit is determined by our obedience and the yielding of our lives to His Will. The reason for the Holy Spirit being sent into this world is to guide us into all truth. He has come to lead us into the very life of Jesus by a new and living way. It is by way of relationship; taking His Yoke upon us, learning of Him and following and abiding within Him. These are not intellectual concepts but a discipline and a surrender of our will to His. The discovery of His Ways will not be by the efforts of men trampling through His Word with carnal wisdom but rather by a heart which has been broken and acknowledges its own condition.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
Isaiah 66:2

We live in a day in which few “tremble” at His Word. To believe His Word and obey it is not only unpopular but scorned in those who would uphold it in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation”. Men who do not tremble at His word treat it as a historical document, a book of instructions and good sayings, a source of religious sermons and quotations. Men who see His Word as Holy, walk carefully through its sacred pages with a desire to be instructed, comforted, reproved and made right by its ministration. The heart that finds its sole source of hope and salvation in His Word seeks to grow into a life of yielding to it. It is to such that the Word becomes living and vibrant. It is they who see the face of God in His glory and hear the voices of the prophets in its substance (Acts 13:27).

Our Boaz

Those who tremble at His word gaze upon it with awe and wonder. They approach it in prayer and with reverence.

“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
Ruth 3:7

What a beautiful picture this is of Ruth who, though not belonging to the House of Israel, an outcast by the Law, her husband dead and therefore in need of someone to redeem her portion in the earth, came in to Boaz (who had the right of redemption by virtue of marriage to an Israelite) softly (not upon the grounds of a right but upon the grounds of mercy); uncovered His feet (desiring to learn of His Way); and laid herself down (resting from her own works) to rest in His. Boaz means “In Him who is strength” (in the Hebrew) rises upon her behalf to redeem her inheritance. This same Moabite woman became a part of the very lineage of Christ. So it is that those who walk softly, and with contrite hearts, seek to lay themselves down in His presence and uncover His ways will so find themselves with a redeemed inheritance in Him!

”I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up, nor awake my love,
till he please”
Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Measure of a Man

PART ONE

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

In this day of declining fervor and passion for God and His purposes, it is always good to be reminded of the measure to which we have been called to love Him. Many in this day take comfort in His Love for us which, while it is incomprehensible and unmerited, is given with purpose and accountability. This Love wherewith He has loved us, when received as a mere teaching, has no real influence upon the human heart. The Love of God when received into the very being of a man will always produce change, pursuit and a love for Him in return.

“We love him, because he first loved us”
1John 4:19

Love received in truth will always bring forth a reciprocating expression of that love back unto Him who is Love. The validity and measure of the love we have received from Him is revealed in the depth and the corresponding love for Him. The call of God goes out in this day (as it has from the beginning of creation) to love Him with our whole heart. Without Love the New Covenant offers little to the people of God, for Love is the very fiber and matrix of all our actions unto Him. Religion is a dry and monotonous exercise in futility without Love. Faith lacks motive, power and purpose when it is held alone without the wonder of God’s Love. Faith needs to be mingled with Love to accomplish the great things of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love
Galatians 5:6 (LITV)

Paul exhorts us in Corinthians chapter 13…

“…though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and have not love, I am nothing”
1Corinthians 13:2

People who are held within the grasp of a true sense of their indebtedness unto Him can never be static, inactive or apathetic in their pursuit of God. Those whose love for God rarely, if ever, has any influence on their daily life must reconsider the eternal ramifications of such a meager existence. True and active disciples are always being moved and led by the love of God beating in their hearts. Jesus in seeing the multitude had compassion

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
and he healed their sick”
Matthew 14:14

They who love little do little. A mere religious belief without the love and fire of God burning within the heart is the horror of religion. Woe to those who are comfortable to minister a Gospel without the fire of God in their hearts. Woe to those who are content with anything less than a pure desire to love God with all of their heart.

“…I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent…”
Revelation 2:4-5

Only “first love” can produce “first works”. People without love are barren and unfruitful in the things of God. The loss of first love in the Church at Ephesus (if not repented from) would result in the removal of God’s Presence from their midst. God’s love is the spring from which all His works flow and correspondingly so it is with His disciples.

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

Discipleship is the expression of a life which has been captured with the beauty and glory of our God. Love is the only constraint which binds the disciple to the life of following of Jesus.

It is this love alone which determines
the measure of a man in God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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KNOWN OF GOD

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

At first glance it seems superfluous to speak of God knowing a man as a result of that man loving God. We reason that God knows all things so why consider this verse to hold some lofty thought of Him who does know all things. The knowledge spoken of here is of an intimate and personal nature. It speaks of relationship and interaction. It is a very high, very deep knowledge borne out of friendship and the flow of the life of the Son. It is the very Spirit of Christ enveloping and binding the redeemed man to the bosom of the Father through the efficacy and power of the blood. Out of this growing union of such depth and wonder comes the reality of being known of God Himself. This knowledge is not available by the intellect; the religious man will never tread upon such holy and sacred ground. It is something that can only be apprehended through the medium of LOVE; a love that transcends knowledge, a love that is born of God, given by God and received by the man who is being transformed by the seeing of Him. We read of this at the end of the Love Chapter of 1Corinthians 13:12 “…but then shall I know even as also I am known”. The knowing of Him is in direct proportion to Him knowing us. It springs from being so overwhelmed with this LOVE of God that we give Him the reigns of our hearts to discipline, chasten and to freely work within our hearts the desire to do His Will. This knowledge of which God speaks here is the fruit of relationship with Him. There will be many who do great works for God, even those which seem of a spiritual nature, who will not know of this intimacy.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity”
Matthew 7:22-23

Though God knows all things and is a discerner of the thoughts, intentions and actions of men, it is those who LOVE Him who shall be known of Him. Love is not only the end and fruit of God’s work within a man; it is the very cause of a man knowing and being known of God. John goes on to say concerning this great mystery and the assurance that can be ours…

“And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments”
1John 2:3

“But whoso keepeth his word,
in him verily is the love of God perfected:
hereby know we that we are in him”
1John 2:5

“And he that keepeth his commandments
dwelleth in him, and he in him.
And hereby we know that he abideth in us,
by the Spirit which he hath given us”
1John 3:24

In the scriptures Faith and Love are synonymous with obedience and the keeping of His commandments. The one who loves God keeps His commandments because of the great desire to please Him.

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

Brian Troxel

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