Thought for Today – Discovering the Call

Thought for Today

Discovering the Call

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

Literally the meaning of righteousness would best be translated “right-wise-ness”. It is in each of us becoming in word, thought and deed all that He has purposed us to be in Christ. The gift of God to each of us lies hidden in the mystery of our own ambiguity. It will remain hidden if it is treated with neglect and indifference. The man with the one talent buried his gift within the earth of his own being. It is a sad testimony of a life that passes through time in the fog of unreality and uncertainty. His neglect had eternal implications (Matthew 25:30).

The wise of heart understand that the talent given is to be tended to with a holy diligence and singleness of heart knowing we shall one day give an account unto Him. The will of God is that His deposit increases within our hearts.

“Wherefore be ye not unwise,
but understanding what the will of the Lord is”
Ephesians 5:17

It is the unwise who know not the will and the call of God. It is in our obedience that the way becomes clear and the “mystery” of His will is solved within the riddle of our own life. He is desirous to bring clarity to our lives as we walk in the wonder of His way.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out
into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance,
obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went”
Hebrews 11:8

The mystery of His will is never solved personally apart from obedience. Abraham’s call was revealed through his obedience. He did not know where he was going, but he knew the ONE who was leading. It was in his obedience that he discovered his inheritance! It is the same for us; in obeying His call we see the unfolding of our place in Him.

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

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Ichabod Spencer

Quote for Today

Ichabod Spencer

“There are multitudes in our congregations who are just waiting while they ought to be acting. They must work, if they would have God work in them. There can be no religion without obedience”
– Ichabod Spencer

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

Thought for Today – Religious Sin

Thought for Today

Religious Sin

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned:
for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord,
and thy words: because I feared the people,
and obeyed their voice
1 Samuel 15:24

The above scripture taken from the narrative of Saul’s life is one of a long and sad commentary on his reign in Israel. This event serves as a stern warning to us as to what the Lord considers obedience. Saul’s “partial obedience” is confronted by the Prophet Samuel concerning the Amalekites.

“And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?”
1 Samuel 15:18-19

“But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”
1 Samuel 15:21

Saul had partially fulfilled the Word of the Lord to him. He had destroyed the Amalekites, but he kept the king alive and allowed the people to keep the spoils of battle to “sacrifice” them to the Lord.

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king”
1 Samuel 15:22-23

In God’s eyes partial obedience is sin and disobedience. Religious sin is when His ministers obey the voice of the people rather than God. It is one of the greatest of all sins for when those who are directly responsible for expressing God’s will and way in the earth corrupt their allegiance to Him, God’s name is blasphemed. Religious sin is always cloaked in the pretense of worshiping God, honoring God or serving God. Yet He who weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart sees it as disobedience and rebellion. The religious sin of appearing to serve the Lord (see the sin of Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1-11) is ever shrouded in deceit to appear spiritual to those around us. Things which should be destroyed or forsaken are instead offered up to God as a sacrifice.

Religious sin is found wherever and whenever men and women listen to the voice of the people rather than to God. When the appearance of a thing is more important than obedience, when that which the Lord has spoken is compromised with the desire to be pleasing in the sight of the people rather than in the sight of God, the result is rejection and sorrow.

“Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
he hath also rejected thee from being king”

Obedience is the highest and purest expression of true worship and sacrifice.

“For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10

Brian Troxel

How to know that we know Him

How to Know That We Know Him

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

The true Christian life is one of simplicity. Those who keep His word love Him; they seek to honor Him in every aspect of their lives. Those who profess to love Him but do not keep His word are liars.

“He that saith, I know him,
and keepeth not his commandments,

is a liar, and the truth is not in him”
1 John 2:4

Those who leave off the doing of truth are not able to come to the glorious light of Jesus the Christ. Without the doing of truth there can be no growth in the light.

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

The simplicity of our life with Him is easily discerned by those who have objective hearts. The beauty is we can make changes at any given moment for He who died for us ever lives to bring us to a deeper, more vibrant walk in Him. To continue to declare that we love Him and not keep His commandments is the LIE that will condemn us on the last day. Those who hate reproof hate the light. It is in this crucible that the fate of all men and women will be determined.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved”
John 3:20

Ω

Hereby do we know we know Him

To obey the truth reveals the love of His Light.
To hate reproof is to hate the light.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Occupy till I come –

Thought for Today

“Occupy till I come”

“A certain nobleman went into a far country
to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds,
and said unto them, Occupy till I come
Luke 19:12-13

The Kingdom of God has many claims upon those whom He has called. The “pounds” are given to His servants and His directive to them is to be occupied in the stewardship of them. When the King returns He will require of them an accounting of the gains to His investment.

“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

Unto two of the servants His return was a glad and glorious day filled with the just rewards of their faithfulness. To the others it was a day of loss and great judgement. To yet another it was a day in which his portion was not only taken from him but given to the one who had gained ten. He suffered great loss not only in the portion given but also in not knowing the King’s approval. The other “servants” were not only rejected but were judged severely.

Occupy till I come!

It is the chief purpose of all His servants to be fully occupied with the goods so richly given and so little deserved. It should be our sole desire to live faithfully, fearfully and determinedly to see His portion developed within the fullness of our abilities unto the Day of his return.

Occupy till I come!

This is His command to His servants. His word to us is to be occupied with the development and growth of the portion given to each of us. We must all be diligent to the thing He has (past tense) placed within our lives. I cannot walk in another’s portion. I must be about His call, His purpose and His design for my life. If we are lazy or refuse to go His way, to allow His Spirit to reign and rule within our lives, the Day of His appearing is most fearful.

He is coming. He is coming to collect the gains of the investment he has made in each one of us by His grace!

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Contrast – Envy & Love

The Contrast

Envy and Love

Love is its own reward
For in its power all is restored

Envy is the rust of soul
Corrupting all within its hold

Love rejoices in another’s success
For it is full in its own blessedness

Envy increases in emptiness
Receiving from its wretchedness

Love’s joy is ever giving
Flowing from Him who is ever living

Envy covets what others own
Reaping the ruin that it has sown

Love is life’s true delight
Freeing the heart from all sin and strife

Envy’s wages are hell and blight
Binding the heart in sin and strife

It is in envying the things of others
       our own garden is filled
with wicked weeds and evil deeds

Brian Troxel

“A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones”
Proverbs 14:30

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Mercy –

Thought for Today

Mercy

“You have magnified Your mercy
which You have shown to me in saving my life.
And I am not able to escape to the mountain
lest some evil overtake me and I die.
Behold, now, this city is near, to flee there,
and it is a little one. Please let me escape there!”
Genesis 19:19

This is the first instance in which mercy is mentioned in the scriptures. God’s impending judgement upon Sodom could not be executed until Lot left the city (because of Abraham’s prayer). God told Lot to go to the mountain to be safe but Lot was fearful and called upon God’s mercy to circumvent God’s will! Rather than obeying God he used God’s mercy to walk in a partial obedience. Such is the half-hearted response to God throughout the history of man. God granted Lot’s request but it is a sad testimony.

This scripture came to mind the other day as I was praying. I found myself asking God for His mercy to do His will. Not only did the above scripture come to mind but also the following:

“For this reason I make request to you,
brothers, by the mercies of God,
that you will give your bodies as a living offering,
holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship
it is right for you to give him”
Romans 12:1 (BBE)

These two passages show the contrasting ways in which we avail ourselves of God’s mercy; one for partial obedience and the other as a complete offering of ourselves to God. Though God may allow the partial we must recognize our tremendous need of His mercy to walk in full submission to Him. True obedience is only possible by the outworking of His mercy in our lives.

The natural man cannot walk with God; the unregenerate heart will always insist on its own way. To whatever extent our lives are yielded to Him will be the measure of His ministrations of grace and mercy being received.

“Thou in thy mercy
hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed”
Exodus 15:13

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Who is Wise?

Thought for Today

Who is Wise?

“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine,
and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man…”
Matthew 7:24

The scriptures are full of God’s thoughts and His determinations. Those who set their hearts to please and honor Him will have little difficulty discovering these things. It is a simple concept for us to consider; hear His Word and obey it. While many love to discuss revelations, dreams and visions the simplicity of doing His Word will make one wise and pleasing to God. As one man observed, the disobedient scholar has to muddy the water in order to make it appear deep. In reality the wonder of obeying Him brings us to clear waters, pure hearts and a faith built upon the very Rock of our Salvation.

There is no better teacher than obedience for it opens the heart to feel God within. It cleanses the eyes that we may see clearly and it causes our ears to become sensitive to the intonations of His voice. Obedience will always clarify our walk. In obeying we soon discover whether a thing is of God or of ourselves. Those who never obey His voice within are left with obscurity in the things of life. They have never acted on the still small voice within and therefore the ambiguity of His way is never solved. With the passing of time the voice becomes reticent and men and women are left to their own thoughts and ways.

Child-like faith will always reveal the Father. It is to such He comes to show them the wonders of His Son and of His Kingdom.

“But whoever does what is true comes to the light,
so that it may become evident
that his actions have God’s approval”
John 3:21

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Butter and Honey – Part Two –

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART TWO

“…for butter and honey shall every one eat
that is left in the land”
Isaiah 7:24

Earlier, (See Part One) in the fifteenth verse of this chapter, we read the prophetic word given to Isaiah concerning Jesus the long awaited Messiah and Saviour. Here we read that what was true of Him is to be true of those who remain in the land after His judgements and dealings; they will also eat of “butter and honey”. The grace and beauty of the Son are to become ours also through the power of His Life ruling and reigning in us. Throughout the ages men and women of God have seen the power, majesty and purpose of God for His people. Faith has brought them to the place of embracing His Power in spite of their weaknesses. The Son becomes their “life” in substance and reality by a Grace not limited by their own doubts and blindness.

“By Grace we become what God is by nature.”
Athanasius

Even in this hour there are people who know the wonder of Life working within. This deep and powerful work of God brings clarity and separation in the midst of religious flippancy. It necessitates an obedience, submission and yielding of themselves to His Word and the moving of His Spirit. The intensity of His fire has one purpose: to purify and cleanse in order that He may empower with a fresh and Holy Expression of God in the earth.

The Word of God is not to be held in the intellect; it must be eaten and digested as butter and honey. Those who eat of His word cannot remain unchanged. There is no salvation in hearing, no safety in quoting the scriptures or listening to Sunday sermons and following great teachers.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you…”
John 6:53

The power and life contained within the Word, when assimilated, will never leave the recipient unchanged. Those who only hear the word but do not obey will not experience lasting impressions. The effects of the Word are momentary and temporal (James 1:24). Some are ever learning but never come to the truth. Others, who eat of the “butter and honey” of God’s Word, will know the fire within that consumes and purifies from all that is not of Him. By this “refiner’s fire” His people come to “discern between the righteous and the wicked” and “between him that serves God and him that serves him not” (Malachi 3:18). They are not fooled by the appearance of those who claim to serve God but in reality are serving themselves and their worldly ambitions.

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good”
Isaiah 7:15

Ω

“Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain
to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music;
and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry
to the sight that has gazed on the vision
of the great white throne and the crystal sea”
Alexander MacLaren

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Butter and Honey – Part One

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART ONE
(See Part Two)

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good*
Isaiah 7:15

Spiritually we are what we eat. The richness of the Word of God is revealed here as producing within the lives of His own discernment and right choices. How people walk reveals the depth and the import of their partaking of the things of God. In our day of lukewarm attitudes towards sin and conformity to the world it becomes clear that a religious gospel is not capable of producing a separated people. By and large the church is more concerned with the numbers in the pews rather than the righteousness of the people of God. The Word has been robbed of its power and purpose. Smooth things are spoken. Oratory has replaced the anointing. Programs and written resources have taken the place of the individual’s responsibility to seek God and His Will for themselves. Knowledge about God replaces the knowledge OF God. We have become as comfortable as Samson in Delilah’s lap. We have fallen asleep and know not the hour and the day that is about to break upon us. In our slumber we characterize those who cry out to the current condition of things as “legalistic” and overly religious. We have “discovered” new methods of evangelizing where we seek to appeal to the masses with a Jesus that can tweak human nature but still allow them to enjoy the world. This gospel is presented as a band aid rather than a cure; a new paint job rather than a new creation.

Unto those who feast upon the butter and honey of the word of God there is a growing ability to refuse evil and choose good. What a precious gift this is! Discernment is critical to our growth and maturity in God. Without discernment there is no ability to partake of the “strong meat of the Word”.

“But strong meat belongs
to them that are of full age,
even those
who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14

Those who refuse the “butter and honey” of the Word cannot eat of the strong meat that produces men and women separated unto God. We read of Moses though raised in the very house of Pharaoh and given the opportunity of living a life of luxury…

“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 11:25-26

This empowerment to esteem the reproach of Christ as “greater riches” only comes by the eating of the Word through obedience and having our senses exercised to see things as they really are.

Ω

“The issue is now clear.
It is between light and darkness
and everyone must choose his side”
(The last words of GK Chesterton)

*NOTE: The prophetic word spoken here of the Son communicates to us His manner of life and His Beauty. All that is true in Him is to be true of those who are in Him.

“…because as he IS, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info