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Posts Tagged ‘Obedience the Fruit of Love’

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 Two

OBEDIENCE

“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 John Chapter 14 we are caught up in the drama of Jesus seeking to prepare His disciples for His impending departure at the hands of a wicked and perverse generation. In these moments we feel the intensity of the Son to convey to them the Father and the coming promise of the Comforter. During this time of great intimacy Jesus speaks of love being the criteria for determining the measure of a man’s obedience.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word”
John 14:23

“The one who does not love Me
does not keep My words”
John 14:24

The simplicity of the Christian Life, when all the words, doctrines and teachings of men are removed, is reduced to these two simple choices; life and relationship with The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; or Religion and death. Let us re-examine these scriptures in their entirety to understand their full ramifications.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word,
and My Father shall love him.
And We will come to him and
will make a dwelling place with him
John 14:23

“The one who does not love Me
does not keep My words”
John 14:24

The immensity of the contrast between these two scriptures is solely determined by the love we hold in our hearts. Being Loved of the Father, and the enjoyment of the Father and the Son making their dwelling place within ours hearts, is not determined by what we know but by who we love.

Men are constantly reading books, listening to sermons, joining organizations, holding prayer and fellowship meetings and trying to follow men in order to reach these deeper places of relationship. As important as some of these things may be, we miss the fact that the simplicity of a life filled with loving Him, with all of our hearts, is the Way of access. The measure of our love for Him is found in the revelation of our keeping, obeying and loving His Word.

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

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

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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