Faithfulness and the Open Door

Faithfulness and The Open Door

I know thy works:
behold, I have set before thee an open door,
and no man can shut it…”
Revelation 3:8

Faithfulness to the present truth we know will always culminate in greater things in God. The Church at Philadelphia, even in their weakness and poverty, were faithful to do the works of God and were given an open door. Doing the will of God inevitably leads us into greater avenues of service unto Him. Those who are faithful in the little things will always receive more.

The stagnation of a faith without works perpetuates its own lethargy and barrenness. Within the true disciple lies an eagerness to do that which is before them without hesitation or delay. We must always bear in our hearts the verdict of God upon a “faith” which is void of works.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?”
James 2:14-20

The “Open Door” is set before those who are faithful to yield themselves to the promptings of God within and respond accordingly. There are those who feel hemmed in by circumstances when in fact they may have not been faithful to the things at hand. Joseph, bound within Pharaoh’s prison, remained faithful to the gifts which God had given him, and, in the end, he was given great authority!

“For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has”
Matthew 13:12

The path to enlarged places in God is found within our faithfulness to Him in the little things; hidden things, often only known to God. In the end they will bring us to the open door of His grace.

Just a couple of examples are David who, while tending the sheep of his father, overcame the lion and the bear. Rebekah at the well, in her willingness and faithfulness to serve, was brought into the lineage of Christ!! (read Genesis 24:12-27) May we see the importance God places on those who reveal their heart by the work of their hands. He sees and measures out greater faith in proportion to their faithfulness in everyday life.

Let us seek His “open door” through faithfulness in our commonplace lives. Let our determination to honour Him “in all things” be an entrance into the greater things of Him. May we find joy each day in ever looking for ways to glorify Him, even in the secret thoughts of our hearts.

“I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service…”
1 Timothy 1:12

Obedience will open doors that no amount of praying alone can.

“The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the right times? Blessed is that servant whom his lord will find doing so when he comes. Truly I tell you, that he will set him over all that he has.
Matthew 24:45-47

May His exhortations permeate our hearts, and may we seek to be faithful to Him in all things.

Well done, 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 25:23

The one who was unfaithful lost what he had been given and the eternal consequences were even greater.

“But his lord answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter. You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest. Take away therefore the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away. Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
Matthew 25:26-30

Faithfulness determines eternal destinies.

“…they that are with Him
are called, and chosen, and faithful
Revelation 17:14

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Forgiveness

Effectual Prayers – Forgiveness

” And when ye stand praying,
forgive…”
Mark 11:25

Christ is the sum of all knowledge and perfection and in His piercing Light all things are made bare. It is this Light by which all men will be judged. There is nothing hid from the Magnificent One whose “eyes are as a flame of fire”. It was by these eyes that the deception of Ananias and Sapphira’s seemingly innocent lie was seen and dealt with in the severity of God’s righteousness (1). It is a deception repeated to varying degrees in His house today. How little we as the church of today consider our ways. The God who never changes, has not changed. His estimations of our actions, our professions and our dealings with one another are not lost in His sight. The unforgiving remain weighed down in their own sins (2). The unmerciful receive not the depths and power of His mercy (3). The unholy are blinded by the shades of their own spiritual condition (4). These are the weights and measures by which God deals with His Own. The Light of Christ is only made effective by the corresponding deeds of truth within the individual.

“But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

The significance of this statement bears eternal repercussions. Its decree brings to every man the responsibility for his own growth and development in the call and the purposes of God. Within the confines of our hearts (if sensitive to the Spirit) we intuitively know that to hold unforgiveness will cloud and darken the wonder of prayer.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses
Mark 11:25

Forgiveness is the fruit of a heart involved in the “doing of truth”. It flows from a heart which seeks to grow and live in Christ. Dead and powerless prayers arise from those who fear not nor understand His ways. To hold animosity, offense and the wrongs of others within is to negate the forgiveness of Christ unto our own hearts. Man uses religion to cover his refusal to walk in the truth of Christ by making forgiveness a word rather than a deed (5). This limits their Christian experience to lifeless confessions, powerless prayers and a growing detachment from the life and light of Christ.

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth
John 9:31

Truth is measured to us correspondingly to our walk in truth. The more we yield to its way, the more we are afforded of its great reward especially within the depth of our communion with Him (6).

“He that doeth truth”

Let us not settle for the “broad gate” which leads to a desensitized heart. Let us not linger in the shallows of confessions and creeds. Let us come with “open face” and behold the Light and Glory of the One who deals with us in truth.

“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

An “open face” means we are open and sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit of God. In every response to Him we grow in His Light and His Person. Those who desire the truth of Him know within the need to DO the truth of Him in order to be changed.

May we comprehend that the change we need will only come as we walk in the current truth we have. The seeing of Him and the corresponding transformation of our own personal lives comes by our involvement in the doing of His Truth.

Psalm 15
1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
______________

References
1. Acts 5:1-10
2. Matthew 6:14-15; (among many others)
3. Matthew 5:7
4. Hebrews 12:14
5. Matthew 18:35
6. Matthew 25:21,23

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

A Strong Exhortation – The Day of Reckoning

A Strong Exhortation 

Faith and Works

“His lord said unto him,
Well done, 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
(From the Parable of the Talents)

When the time came for the master to reckon with his servants, he did not say “well believed”; He spoke the words “well done”. True servants of God are not idle, nor slack concerning the gracious bestowal of talents. They invest their lives into God’s investment in them. They are faithful in the things entrusted to them. In this passage the one who was slack concerning God’s investment was reproved and cast into outer darkness. The talents were given to HIS SERVANTS and as such the Lord expected a work and a labour into that which was given. These were His people upon whom such privileges were bestowed. They were not given on the basis of individual merit, but according to each one’s ability. Men and women who declare they are not able to walk in such things declare God to be unjust in His estimation of their ability.

“His lord answered and said unto him,
thou wicked and slothful servant…”
Matthew 25:26

Whose Lord? The servant’s Lord. Let us make no mistake as to the meaning of this Parable. It is a false and foolish gospel that has robbed God of His rightful place as Lord in our lives. Let us turn from this deceit and embrace the responsibility and the great reward that awaits those who are found faithful to our Lord and Saviour.

In this Parable Jesus declares:

“After a long time the lord of those servants cometh,
and reckoneth with them”
Matthew 25:19

Rest assured His coming is nigh unto us. Can we not hear with the ears of faith?

“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing
Luke 12:43

Again, the word does not say blessed is that servant that he shall find “so believing”! His Day is upon us and we are to be faithful in so doing and admonishing others to the same.

And let us 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. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”
Hebrews 10:24-26

Do we not hear the exhortation to stir one another unto “love and good WORKS”? Can we not feel the day approaching? It is a slothful people who do not exhort one another unto “love and good works”. Read the context of the above scripture; it is willful sin not to be doing this as we assemble together.

The lethargy and false comfort preached in our day blinds His Own to their responsibility to the talents given.

The Day of the Lord is a day of reckoning for His people.

(Please read 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be
Revelation 22:12

Ω

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the Lord’s work,
because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Brian Troxel