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Posts Tagged ‘Pure in Heart’

Thought for Today

The Wick

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“…and he (Moses) looked, and, behold,
the bush burned with fire,
and the bush was not consumed”
Exodus 3:2

God’s purpose for man is revealed in this verse. The call of God is to bring men and women to this one end: lives that burn with His fire through fragile earthen vessels. In a fully yielded life of surrender we become His light to the world.

The secret of this life is in the wick drawing upon the oil of His Spirit allowing His pure desire and heart to be the flame. The only way the wick will not burn up is by keeping the flow of oil constant through the power of an abiding relationship. Where there is no flow the wick will burn out and become useless, no longer able to shine with the wonder of the flame of God.

The oil without the flame is of little value. So too are the gifts and ministrations of the Holy Spirit apart from the purifying and glorifying flame of God within the vessel. The magnificence of this life cannot be known without these three components: The Flame of God, the Oil of the Holy Spirit and the Fragile Earthen Wick.

“And the bush was not consumed”

Ω

“It is of the Lord’s mercies
that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not”
Lamentations 3:22

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Holy Zeal
Part 9

“And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,
has turned My wrath away from the sons of Israel
while he was zealous for My sake among them
Numbers 25:15

True priests of the Lord are zealous for God’s glory. They have a burning passion within for His ways, His Holiness and His Glory. They do not sit idly by while men in their insolence disregard His glory and bring dishonor to Him in His house. Those without zeal will not react to the situations before them. They may cringe a bit, they may be saddened or even give themselves to prayer, but the true priests of God act out of a heart that is “zealous for His sake” among the lukewarm people of God.

This rising up of Phinehas happened in the midst of a great judgement from God. Israel’s backsliding had brought the worldly ways of men to the very people of God!

“And Israel lived in Shittim.
And the people began to fornicate
with the daughters of Moab”
Numbers 25:1 (LITV)

While Moses and the true priests of the Lord were weeping before the Tabernacle a brazen act of adultery was happening right in their midst. Zimri* (Song of the Lord) brought into his tent a Midianite woman Cozbi* (false, deceptive, a lie); the pollution of the Song of the Lord by the joining of it to the deceptive things of the world. It is against this backdrop that Phinehas rose up from the place of weeping and took a spear and slew both the Israelite and the Midianite in His zeal for the Lord. God’s response to this act:

“Wherefore say, Behold,
I give unto him (Phineas) my covenant of peace:
And he shall have it, and his seed after him,
even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood;
because he was zealous for his God,
and made an atonement for the children of Israel”
Numbers 25:12-13

Do we not see the Song of the Lord in our day mingled with the flesh and horror of the world? Do we not see apathy in the midst of a carnal church which has been polluted with the ways and the wisdom of this ungodly world? Are there not those who will rise up in such an hour for His Glory to be restored to His Church? Where are the prophets, where are those who sigh and cry over the abominations committed in the very Name of God? The church is filled with those who break fellowship with one another, who allow His own to speak evil and perverse things and none lay it to heart. It is a day of blasphemy and disgrace for the things we allow in our midst. The true priests of the Lord will not be silent in this day. It is a day to rise up, to speak and to do concerning the mixture and pollution we see all around us. We see men who take unto themselves the money of the widows and the sincere to build up empires unto themselves and none lay it to heart! It is a day to respond to the horror of men’s ways; a day to become involved in the purifying of His house. Men and women allow God’s people to withdraw from others; they do not take seriously the ministration of the blood which binds us together with the cords of His love. No one wants to get involved. Every man attends to his own interests alone and in so doing becomes a participant in the tearing down of His house. This is happening because within the lives of many there is no zeal for God; they are content with the status quo. They hide themselves in the religious garment of prayer and do nothing. Prayers which do not lead to obedience and zeal for the Lord are the prayers of religious and vain hearts. True prayer brings us to the threshold of His Glory and in that awesome presence men rise up with the fortitude and love of God beating in their hearts to stand for Him in this day. Men who see and feel nothing do nothing.

This new priesthood is one which contends for God’s purposes in the earth. They stand like beacons in the midst of the apathy and spiritual harlotry of today. They are grieved over the functioning of the carnal church which operates on the same premise as any worldly corporation. They cannot help but speak out to all who would hear “repent and turn from this wickedness”. God will give us a new heart to serve Him in the fervency of His Love for one another.

The call of God is going forth in this hour to those who have a zeal for His Glory in the earth; who become involved in the new wineskin into which God will pour the New Wine. He will give a new heart to serve in the fervency of His Love to one another. Those who respond with the fervor of His Spirit have the heart of a priest unto Him.

“Blessed and holy is the one
having part in the first resurrection.
The second death has no authority over these,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ,
and will reign with Him…”
Revelation 20:6

*NOTE: Hebrew Meaning of Zimri and Cozbi
Zimri:
Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines the verb that means to sing or make music, and reads “Song Of The Lord” BTN defines Zimri – “my praise” or “my music” in Hebrew.

Cozbi: כזב
The root-verb כזב (kazab) means to lie (Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 57:11), or to disappoint or fail (Habakkuk 2:3, Isaiah 58:11). Figuratively, this verb is used to describe a brook or stream that has dried up: Job 6:15, Jeremiah 15:18, also see Isaiah 58:11 (and the opposite of a lying river is a river whose water is sure — Isaiah 33:16;
Its derivations are:

The masculine noun כזב (kazab), meaning a lie, falsehood or deception (Judges 16:10, Amos 2:4, Isaiah 28:15).
The adjective אכזב (‘akzab), meaning deceptive or disappointing (Jeremiah 15:18 and Micah 1:14 only).
The Bible considers lies the ultimate opposite of whatever God is, stands for and wishes to bring about. Since God is Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 14:6), Satan is called the father of lies (John 8:44), and an idol a teacher of lies (Habakkuk 2:18).
Abiram Publications

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Mystery of God

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery,
even the hidden wisdom, which God
ordained before the world unto our glory”
1 Corinthians 2:7

True ministrations of the Holy Spirit present the Mystery of God in a hidden wisdom that is indiscernible to the natural man. This is not a mystery that is to remain unknown but a mystery that cannot be understood with the intellect; a mystery only entered into by a pure heart and a child-like faith. This mystery can only be explored by the lamp of obedience, the result of Love beating within the heart of every pilgrim. It draws men with such beauty and promise that, upon seeing it, they go and sell all they have in order to hold that “pearl of great price”. The religious and curious love to sit and discuss aspects of it, they enjoy expounding upon its merits and possibilities, and are content with it remaining an ethereal concept. To those who have tasted and caught glimpses of its Glory nothing can alleviate the cry to enter into its depth and fullness. Men through all ages have touched the hem of this life, this wonder, and have been so captivated by its beauty they gladly lay everything down for its reality. It is with this motivation that men speak to one another, encourage one another and stir up one another to a greater passion for the living Christ. It is to such a heart that this mystery unfolds His Majesty and Worthiness.

Hidden to be Revealed

The scriptures declare that God conceals Himself in wisdom. Love compels Him to make Himself known but that knowing is wrapped up and hidden from the wise and prudent of this world and revealed to babes in heart.

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent,
and hast revealed them unto babes”
Matthew 11:25

The hidden things of God are only hidden with the desire to make them known. God created the material world and all that is in it to make Himself known. This is the only means by which men move from darkness and religion into fellowship and friendship with God. Relationship is impossible where one of the parties involved remains hidden and obscure. The good news of the Gospel is that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…” The Gospel, the reaching out of God’s heart to man, was God’s initiative, prerogative and design. Our sin, rebellion and sheer ignorance made Him foreign and unknowable in our lost condition. The ability to see, hear and know Him requires change on our part. It requires a “new birth” in order for us to “see” His Kingdom.

“Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God”
John 3:3

While many in Christendom are satisfied with the mere seeing of the Kingdom there are those whose hearts have been touched by the baptism into His Spirit; those who instinctively feel the call to not only the see the Kingdom but to enter into it.

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”
John 3:5

Exception to Entrance
Into The Kingdom of God

This seeking of the Kingdom and the desire to touch the invisible, to know the things of God which are beyond knowing (Ephesians 3:19), and the participating in the Mystery of God can only be known by a childlike heart. The word “except” in the scriptures above  eliminates the ability to see and enter the Kingdom of God by any other way. “Except” is an exclusionary term especially when God is the one speaking. Jesus added to the list of exclusionary scriptures by saying…

“Except ye be converted,
and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 18:3

This “exception” declares that this must be the experiential reality of those who would enter this Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is the Mystery. It is the mystery of righteousness and the mystery of faith that can only be revealed to those who meet the criteria which God has set forth. It does not require much effort to look over the landscape of the religious world and realize that the wonder and mystery of God is a foreign concept. We have allowed teachings, doctrines and dogmas of men to replace the wonder and glory of His Spirit. We have been caught up in “words” about God instead of the Word of God. We somehow have equated “knowledge” with the means of entering; that somehow the gathering of more knowledge about God will qualify us to enter His Kingdom. This was the mindset of the Pharisees in Jesus day; they knew much and saw little. Jesus spoke to them concerning their “knowledge” of the scriptures…

“Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me”
John 5:39

They handled, spoke and condemned the very manifestation of the Kingdom to their own shame and damnation. Pharisee in the original language means “called out ones”. They were the religious “elect” of their day. They excelled in their knowledge of the scriptures and they excelled all others in their blindness. If the Kingdom came by words and knowledge there would surely have been a people who entered in long ago. However, the Lord tells us the Kingdom is not in word but in the power of His Spirit.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Entrance into Kingdom by
Obedience and Character

The entrance into the Kingdom is not by what we know but by what we become through the operation of His Spirit within our hearts. The simplicity required by God is produced by our being “converted”; the depth and power of that conversion brings about a childlike faith and heart. Men with much instruction can become hardened, rigid and lose the ability to flow in the things of the Spirit. The Word becomes too familiar and too well read through the glasses of their own doctrinal concepts and natural reasoning. The Word loses its wonder, its glory and its mystery. The Bible, the pages of which are filled with over four thousand years of God speaking, becomes a one-dimensional plane of religious phrases instead of the pulsating, living and vibrant voice of God. Men cease to hear the voice of God and of the prophetic men who penned such a marvellous work.

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem,
and their rulers, because they knew him not,
nor yet the voices of the prophets
which are read every sabbath day,
they have fulfilled them in condemning him”
Acts 13:27

There are many who read and hear the scriptures every Sunday/Sabbath/Meeting that never hear the voices of the prophets who languish in the throes of a religious wilderness. They hear only good things without the power of God to become expressions of Him in authenticity and truth. There is a form and appearance of being righteous but the inward reality is absent. These are those of whom Jesus spoke “because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not; neither do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). It is a hearing that will never produce acts and works of faith. “Faith cometh by hearing” and that hearing is the result of a pure and right heart. It is the “pure in heart” who shall see God; those who know that the real issues of life are the heart’s condition, obedience to His Word and the overall desire to see God glorified (not themselves).

Understanding the mystery of God is on the grounds of faith and obedience. This entrance into the Kingdom of God has the following conditions:

1. A true willingness to do the will of God. “If any man will do his will, he shall know…”

2. Growth and development of His Life within us. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”. 2 Peter 1:5-11

Spiritual blindness occurs when men stop adding the virtue and wonder of God to their faith. There is a slumber and a religious stupor of knowing a thing without becoming. Knowing without doing is the pathway to deception and sorrow.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Rest of article continued on next post.

Brian Troxel

http://www.aword.info

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“HEARKEN”

PART THREE
(Part Three of a Five Part Series)
ISAIAH 51

To those who slumber in this day.

“Hearken unto me, my people;
and give ear unto me, O my nation:
for a law shall proceed from me,
and I will make my judgment to rest
for a light of the people.
My righteousness is near;
my salvation is gone forth,
and mine arms shall judge the people;
the isles shall wait upon me,
and on mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look upon the earth beneath:
for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke,
and the earth shall wax old like a garment,
and they that dwell therein
shall die in like manner:
but my salvation shall be forever,
and my righteousness shall not be abolished”
ISAIAH 51:4-6

The Hebrew word for “hearken” used here is quite different from the one used in Isaiah 51:1 (see Hearken – Part Two). It is a word spoken to get someone’s attention; its tone is much stronger in its usage. Literally it means to “prick up the ears” or to “pay attention”. It is spoken to a people who have become “comfortable” in their ways. They are HIS own but there is a casualness in their walk; a satisfaction with the status quo in their attitude. Their expectation is no longer in God but, in a very subtle way, has turned from HIM towards an event. There is a doctrinal expectation; a hope based in a teaching not in the realization of a pure heart. In the verse below we see these two Hebrew words contrasted with each other. The “hearken” used to those who are pursuing righteousness is translated “hear”*. “To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may HEAR” (take heed and obey). The “hearken”* used in speaking to this people is used in the second part of this verse “…their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot even hear” what the Lord is speaking.

“To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear*?
behold, their ear is uncircumcised,
and they cannot (even) hearken*:
behold,
the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach;
they have no delight in it”

Jeremiah 6:10

We need to see and understand that the Lord “is a God of Knowledge” and that His heart is ever towards HIS OWN. He speaks to people according to the condition of their heart, not their intellect. Doctrinal statements and understanding will only take us so far in God for the Christian walk is a RELATIONSHIP not a theological treatise!

Here God is pleading and imploring this people to GIVE HEED to HIS WORD. He is speaking to the collective, to the masses who have become dull of hearing and slow of heart. We see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem with the cry that IF they had only known, IF they had only given HEED to God’s gracious invitation they would have been prepared for the destruction that was soon to befall her. These are HIS PEOPLE and as such HE greatly desires to call out and to gather them under the wings of HIS love and protection.

God is giving a stern reminder that the earth is going to pass away and ALL THAT DWELL in it shall die in like manner. Romans Chapter 8 tells us that to be carnally minded is death. To be a “Christian” and to love the things of this world will reap the judgements of this world (Revelation 18:4) [https://aword.info/2010/10/31/the-two-voices-3/].

Let us HEARKEN and give heed to our ways. It is a DAY for us to “weigh” whether our HOPE is a living one or a doctrinal one. The difference between the two is subtle and of the utmost importance. A LIVING HOPE will produce a PURE HEART; a doctrinal hope produces little or no actual change within the heart.

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

The flood is coming to test the foundation of every man’s house and only those who have built on the foundation of hearing and doing will stand in the day that is upon us.

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’
and not do the things which I say?
Whoever comes to Me,
and hears My sayings and does them,
I will show you whom he is like:
He is like a man building a house,
who dug deep
and laid the foundation on the rock.

And when the flood arose,
the stream beat vehemently against that house,
and could not shake it,
for it was founded on the rock.
But he who heard and did nothing
is like a man who built a house on the earth
without a foundation,
against which the stream beat vehemently;
and immediately it fell.
And the ruin of that house was great.
Luke 6:46-49

This is a parable to the Church not the world. This is a parable to those who are slumbering in this hour, busy with the affairs of this life and who have not taken to heart the “Hearken” that God is speaking. May God raise up a prophetic people who will declare to this generation the solemn and sobering Word of the Lord to all who would hear.

Brian Troxel

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TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

PART ONE
EPHESUS

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write…
Nevertheless I have this against you,
that you have left your first love”
REVELATION 2:1-4

This portion of scripture (written in approximately in 90AD) is the last recorded message from Jesus to HIS Church in the Bible. Paul had been martyred around 69 – 70AD. The Church had been infiltrated from without and within; she had become compromised and was beginning to fall into the way of man. These seven letters to the Church located in Asia Minor contain strong exhortations to overcome the corruption WITHIN the Church. The overcomers were those who overcame the false teachings, the separation of the “clergy” from the laity, the acceptance of false prophets; and in one city the rise of a religious atmosphere in which Jesus was on the outside and not even in it. We need to grasp the tenor in which Jesus addressed HIS Church in order for us to understand how HE SEES and how HE SPEAKS to the Church in this hour. It does not require much reading of these seven letters to see that the “overcoming” spoken of to the Church in every location was written concerning the corruption of the Church; not the world without but the Church within! May the Lord open our eyes and our ears to HIS WORD that we may have hearts that will re-evaluate the state of things today. Just as these seven letters were written to the Church of that day, the warnings, promises and the exhortation to give ear to the voice of the Spirit is equally valid to the Church of our day and “even more so as we see the day approaching”.

EPHESUS

Of all the letters written to the Church the assembly located at Ephesus had more positive things written to it than any of the others. It was an assembly that had received the grand epistle of Ephesians; in many respects the most profound unveiling concerning the truths of the unity, the glory and the purpose of the local church. Several times Paul is so overcome with emotion that he stops to pray for them as he is caught up in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Even in a casual reading of that Epistle one can touch the fervor and glory of its sacredness. The Epistle was written around 60-62AD while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.

The letter written to the Church at Ephesus starts off with a list of noble qualities for which Jesus commends them. They obviously had discernment; their labor, patience and hatred of evil were all acknowledged by Jesus. We tend to have a very slack view of HIS IDEA of HIS CHURCH. Within the midst of all these good and commendable things we read a word that changes the flow of the message to the Ephesian Christians; “NEVERTHELESS I have this against you”! Somehow we think that if we are doing a few things right that we can neglect the issues that God has with us individually or corporately. Because we do not know HIM as HE IS, we excuse and shrug off the notion that HE is HOLY. We console ourselves with a few good things and we become lax in our desire to please HIM in all things. In the Old Testament, if the priest’s garments were worn in such a way that the bells did not ring when he was in God’s presence, he was warned that God would strike him dead (Exodus 28:33). God has not changed. The one thing that God had against the Church at Ephesus was of such significance that left unresolved, it would result in the Lampstand being removed. The removal of the lampstand signified the removal of HIS HOLY SPIRIT from their midst; a judgment of such proportions that it is staggering in light of the present day condition of His Church! When men lose their purpose in God they are no longer contending for the faith and they allow ungodliness and worldliness to permeate the local assembly. The most terrifying of all God’s judgments is that HE simply removes HIS presence and the Guidance of the Holy Spirit to such an extent that they are left to themselves and HIS church, in reality, becomes their church. They decide what is preached, what the “agenda” and focus will be, instead of following the Lordship of the Holy Spirit.

What was the one thing of such consequence that it would bring such a harsh response from Him? What was it that would negate all the good things found in them? They had LEFT their first love. Men do not LOSE their first LOVE, they LEAVE it. They let it drift and slowly fade within the sanctuary of their own hearts. Without this Love for HIM everything is just religion; we are no longer concerned about HIS thoughts and HIS desires in the things we do. When the church becomes the center and the reason for the things we do, or they are done out of a sense of duty rather than Love, we are in a place of great danger.

“Nevertheless I have this against you,
that you have left your FIRST love.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen;
repent and do the FIRST works,
or else I will come to you quickly
and remove your lampstand from its place—
unless you repent”
REVELATION 2:4-5

Only FIRST LOVE can produce the FIRST WORKS. The Greek Word translated FIRST here means PRIMARY or PRINCIPLE. It speaks of a love that overrides all other loves, of a singular passion that seeks to please the ONE upon whom it is focused. Only those who know of this FIRST LOVE can produce FIRST WORKS for LOVE is the fountain from which the life is lived. God has ONE WORD for those who have left that FIRST LOVE…REPENT from the place where we have fallen. It is the critical and essential work within the heart of every believer is to keep the heart aflame for HIM (see Jude 20-21). When our hearts begin to grow cold, and our lives become lukewarm and tepid in our desire to worship and please HIM, it is time to repent from the things that have drawn our hearts away from HIM.

The WORD OF PROMISE
FROM THE LORD
To the OVERCOMERS
Who live in the
Assembly of the Church at EPHESUS* is…

“He who has an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
REVELATION 2:7

APATHY AND NEGLECT
are the fruits of the life
in whom the flames of love
have grown cold in the grave of religion

“Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie
But rather mourn the apathetic throng
The cowed and the meek
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak”
Ralph Chaplin (1887–1961)

*NOTE: The Church at Ephesus represents people who have had much teaching, who understand the deeper things of God, who to all appearances have a good walk and are consistent and stable; yet for all their knowing there is a complete lack of doing, caring and seeking the welfare of the people of God. They are isolated from the issues in the church as a whole. They are separated and have pride in the things they know. Their knowledge has become their confidence. His answer for such a people is repentance.

“Repentance is not a fatal day when tears are shed,
but a natal day when, as a result of tears,
a new life begins”
Ilion T. Jones

Brian Troxel

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THE WAY TO PURITY

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word”
PSALM 119:9 (NASB)

Purity of heart is not only relative and progressive it is attainable! The simplicity of the above verse is powerful and within reach to every believer no matter the circumstances in which we may find ourselves. The provision for purity of heart, required by the scriptures, that enables us to see God is set before us to grow and delight in. The one requirement is simple and yet profound… obedience. By keeping His Word, reading it, cherishing it and DOING IT we receive the benefits of a heart that grows in purity and in that growing purity we see God more clearly and profoundly (Matthew 5:8). Obedience is the lamp by which we see His Face.

True obedience is by its very nature sacrificial. It is the way of the cross that leads us into the footsteps of the Son and the doorway into the growing dynamic of His life in us. In order to obey I must lay aside my will for His. I choose His Word and His Way over my own. In the doing of this I not only discover the hidden resources of His Life but I find His Word preserving my life in Him from the trappings and temptations of this world. For example:

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”
PSALM 101:3

By taking heed to this I am preserving my thought life and the purity of my heart. In embracing such a powerful truth I must disobey the lust and desire of the old man and keep the integrity of the new man that is being created in His Image! How simple and just are His ways. By the keeping of His Word we grow in righteousness and peace. In the keeping of His Word we are freed from the wages of sin and death! Obedience is the only way to know of this purity.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren…”
1 PETER 1:22

Though the keeping of His Word is simple in its application it does require the empowering and enabling work of the Holy Spirit to see us through. Within the confines of a growing relationship with our God there is the constant need for us to walk, live and move within His Holy Spirit. The more we obey His Word the easier it is to know of this divine enablement. With each new step into the transforming Life of the Son we find our great Shepherd leading us onward in the “paths of righteousness”. How precious and glorious are His Ways!

Ω

“The proximate result of obedience to God
is inward conformity to the Divine image”
Charles Hodge

Brian Troxel

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