Captivated by Beauty

“Captivated by Beauty”

“After this many of his disciples
turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life”
JOHN 6:66 – 68

The “seeing” of Him is the essential element of TRUE discipleship. Discipleship on any other basis is simply religious fervor that leads to legalism and fanaticism. On the other hand, men who have not seen the unparalleled beauty of the Son pursue nothing. They are quite satisfied with the knowledge of being a child of God without any real desire for a deeper relationship with Him than what they have now (Philippians 3:7-14).

We see here in Peter’s response to Jesus that they could not go away for they had discovered in Him the words and the source of eternal life; their hearts had been captivated by a beauty beyond compare. In one of the parables of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God Jesus said…

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

The ardency of the pursuit of Christ is the revelation of what one has seen. The fruit of seeing is a life of following and seeking. The true beauty of Christ ruins us for the trappings of religious contentment that knows not the cry for a knowing of Him. It is in the FINDING OF HIM that the merchant goes and sells all that he has to purchase this great treasure.

Men who have not truly found Him do not pursue Him; there is no compulsion within to know this ONE PEARL of great price. It is only in KNOWING HIM that we are privileged to see the surpassing beauty of His Glory. To such an end have the promises of God been given…

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”

“Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”

Let us take note of the tremendous assurance of His promises; Ask… IT WILL BE GIVEN, Seek…YOU WILL FIND, Knock… IT WILL BE OPENED! The real beauty of these promises is “for EVERYONE that…”! How can we sit idle or find comfort in simply knowing Him from afar? How can we linger with such promises given?

We live in a day of such apathy and ungodly contentment; where men and women hold the “knowledge” of God in a lukewarm and casual manner. We speak of salvation as a one -time event that having now been born again the work of God is complete and I can live my life with very little ongoing growth or development. We are content with remaining servants without any desire to grow from servants to friends with God.

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants;
for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:
but I have called you friends;
for all things that I have heard of my Father
I have made known* unto you”
JOHN 15:14 – 15

Friendship with God requires obedience and hearing. It requires one who is coming to know the heart and the ways of God. It is a RELATIONSHIP that is ever growing and it necessitates change on my part. It requires a seeking and a desire to know HIM who is the ONE GREAT LOVE of the FATHER.

Where else can we go, to whom else can we turn? Nowhere but to Him who is the source of all life, hope and glory!

*γνωρίζω gnōrizō; to make known; it is used here as an aorist verb. See John 17:26 where Jesus in speaking to His Father said “…I have declared unto them thy name, and will (continue to) declare it”

To learn is to grow and to to grow is to live.

Brian Troxel


“I press toward the mark…”


In our day and age in the Body of Christ there is very little sense of purpose; to be more precise there is little concept of what is the MARK in the Christian life. If there be no MARK presented to the people of God by the “ministry” how can there be any pursuit of the MARK clearly set forth in the Living Word of God? There can be no pressing into the things of God without a clear presentation of what those things are; it is like trying to run a race with no finish line. That would be absurd and yet it is exactly what so many seem to do. Once the “seekers” are “saved” the seeking tends to wane. Others will “feed” them and look after the “development” of their faith as long as they give their tithe and get involved with a few programs. How do “pressing toward the mark”, “reaching forth unto the things that lie before” and “counting the loss of ALL things as dung” in order to WIN Christ even fit into the “theology” of this present day? If there is no goal there is no pursuit. Wrong teaching produces wrong living.

The Greek word used here for MARK is σκοπός, (skopos), where we get the English word scope, best expressed as the scope of a rifle with a cross-hair in it for aiming at a specific target. Paul was not a theoretical or idealistic man; he was a man with a determined and specific purpose in his pursuit of the living God. All things were measured by this ONE THING. Everything else was made subservient to this one call and as a result he never swerved from the singular desire of his heart. Men who see little, pursue little. Only those who find the “Pearl” to be of great price will sacrifice all to purchase this unique and priceless treasure. What we are at this moment is the revelation of our vision. If we are comfortable and content with the status quo of our life in God, if we have settled for anything less than a life that is in full pursuit of HIS LIFE in us, then we have seen little. If there is not a cry within us to affect the lives of those around us and, more importantly, those we do not even know, we have seen but little. If there is a contentedness to remain independent and aloof from the lives of God’s people around us, if we are unmoved at the divorce rate, if we are not alarmed by the overwhelming dependence of God’s people for mood altering “medications”, if we are not burdened over the lack of HIS FIRE in our midst, if we have been meeting with the same people for years with little or no development in the expression of Christ in our lives or theirs, then we are most definitely in need of VISION and a true understanding of God’s purpose in the race.

There is a MARK to be aimed at by the people of God. In the Epistle to the Church at Philippi Paul was laying bare his heart regarding the attitude by which every one of God’s people was to be driven. Without HIS LOVE beating within our hearts there can be no pursuit. This pursuit is not birthed by a religious zeal for that will fail in the difficulty of the way. Self realization will fade in the recognition that there is no place in which the flesh can glory. It will cost us all that we hold dear. There will be no going back when once we truly see the MARK…HE who first loved us!

“Bad will be the day for every man
when he becomes absolutely content with the life that he is living,
with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing,
when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul
some great desire to do something larger,
which he knows that he was meant and made to do because he is still,
in spite of all, the child of God.


Brian Troxel