Thought for Today – Repent Frequency

Thought for Today

Repentance and The Religion of our Day

 

The above graph  shows the frequency per million words that the word  “repent” is  used from 1540 AD to now.

“And saying, Repent ye:
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”
(Matthew 3:2)

It is interesting to note that the high usage of this word occurred when the Bible was made available to the common people and during the subsequent awakenings of the Church. Contrast this with the powerless preaching of the Gospel in our day.

For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation,
which brings no regret.
But the sorrow of the world produces death”
2 Corinthians 7:10

A Gospel which does not lead to godly sorrow cannot produce repentance. This is necessary for change and the restorative work of God within a redeemed soul. Repentance is the conduit through which the power of God is released. It is by repentance unto salvation that the lost are brought into life and liberty.

“The Lord is not slow concerning his promise,
as some count slowness; but is patient with us,
not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance
2 Peter 3:9

 The power and life of the church is known by the gospel it presents and the corresponding depth of the transforming work of God within His people.

God’s word to the Church in Asia, in six of the seven letters, was to repent of their ways, their teachings and their spiritual condition. This is the last written communication in the Holy Scriptures. It is to His people that the word “repent” goes forth. Let us not marginalize the need for repentance in sharing the purity of the Gospel with one another.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent”
Revelation 3:19

Brian Troxel

Voices of the Day – Let Us Consider Our Ways

Voices of the Day

The Moral Dilemma of the Day

Most recently, it was discovered that a comatose patient at a nursing facility in Phoenix, Arizona, gave birth, despite having been in a vegetative state for 14 years. The staff at the 24-hour care facility said they were unaware of her pregnancy until late December 2018, when she went into labor. She delivered a healthy boy…. After hearing about this horrific act, I felt filled with disgust and could not make sense of it. I buried myself in books by the great moral philosophers and spiritual leaders — Socrates, David Hume, C.S. Lewis, Pastor A.R. Bernard, Adam Smith and, of course, the Holy Bible — to try to understand, and hopefully make sense of, our broken moral and spiritual code. Make no mistake, “the system” is more than just flawed; it is broken on many levels. No one can deny that increasing levels of moral relativism have resulted in tragic outcomes that we never thought possible.”
– Armstrong Williams – (read article)

The above article was written by a secular man in response to a current news story. I was struck by the passion and clarity with which he wrote in calling out the depraved society in which we live; a passion that is seldom seen even within the people of God. It begs the question; why is there not a united voice from within God’s people decrying the wickedness in our land resulting in intercession unto our God? How is it that we have become so desensitized to the horror surrounding us in North America? How is it we hear little, speak little and spend little time concerning these things? It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit moving and reigning within the lives of His own where sin and disobedience is addressed…

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me…
John 16:7-9

We, the Church as a whole, are becoming as desensitized to sin as the world in which we live. The spiritual decay is almost complete. A gospel which does not speak to sin in its own ranks will have no force or power to stem the rising tide of debauchery without.

Can we not feel the growing tide of dissipation, depravity and wantonness filling our land? Is there no comprehension of the day we are in and the implications of what our children are being subjected to every day? Can we not see the stain of the world pervading the Church of Jesus Christ? The invasion of sin robs God’s people of the fervency of heart and the fire of God.

“Because of the increase of wickedness,
the love of most will grow cold”
Matthew 24:12

When pornography, divorce, strife with one another, greed and power mongering is rampant within how can the Church of Jesus Christ be a light to those without? It is a Day to “consider our ways” to repent of the flippancy of a “seeker friendly” gospel, to repent from men’s desires to build magnificent buildings and ministries, and increase their appetites for worldly wealth all the while neglecting the condition of God’s House. The day of seeking to fill the pews rather than the hearts of God’s people with Godly living is bringing the Judgment of God to our land first and foremost upon His Own Church!

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
1 Peter 4:17

“And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience,
when your obedience is fulfilled
2 Corinthians 10:6

It is hypocrisy to speak to the sin without while we hold to the same within our own hearts. God’s answer to this dilemma is simple…

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent”
Revelation 3:19

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Charles Finney

Quote for Today

 

“A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the Church. Backslidden professors cannot wake up and begin right away in the service of God, without deep searchings of heart. The fountains of sin need to be broken up. In a true revival, Christians are always brought under such conviction; they see their sins in such a light that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God. It does not always go to that extent, but there are always, in a genuine revival, deep convictions of sin, and often cases of abandoning all hope.”
– Charles Finney

It is in the conviction of sin, it is in the knowing deeply within our hearts that sin is abounding which enables the Grace of God to exceed our hearts expectation! Where conviction is lacking so will be the measure of God’s grace. It is the acknowledgement of our sin which releases the wonder of God’s grace.

“But where sin abounded,
grace did much more abound…”
Romans 5:20

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Unbelief and the Good News

Thought for Today

Unbelief and the Good News

“Why could not we cast him out?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief”
Matthew 17:19

God’s movings and the shining forth of His salvation are proportional to our faith. It is in the crucible of the realities of life that the true condition of the church is revealed. Truth is the vehicle and the means whereby His thoughts concerning us are expressed. We often speak of truth in terms of His love for us, in terms of His promises and His plans and purposes; but Jesus is always “laying the axe to the root” of our lives. His words can be sharp and to the point. We must see that these words in truth are also the proof of His love.

“Because of our unbelief”

This child would have gone on in the condition in which he came. The agony of his father would have remained unchanged, the situation unaffected by the prayers of the unbelieving disciples. It is here that Jesus presented the truth of the matter. It was not a word given to condemn; it was given to them to arise from where they were into where He had called them to be.

Unbelief is not something about which we should feel condemned. It is His desire that we face our unbelief with the certainty that He has something better, fuller and more blessed concerning our walk in Him. His sharp word spoken to our unbelief is filled with the heart of One who is calling us to better things. It is our response to His word wherein lies the crisis. Do we turn a deaf ear to this reproof or do we acknowledge it. The truth is that the our powerlessness is in the condition of our heart and not in His power? Are we offended by this word or do we feel the promise pulsating within it?

There is always a cure for unbelief, but there is no cure for a heart that refuses the verdict of Jesus. His exhortations are always given to us in order that we may lay these things to heart and not make excuses; to let His words cut asunder our hardness of heart and turn to Him for the fuller measure of all that He is.

“Ye have sown much, and bring in little…
Thus saith the Lord of hosts;
Consider your ways”
Haggai 1:6-7

We must consider our ways for unbelief is the fruit of how we walk, how we think and how we live. Let us hear these words of exhortation and count them as promises of greater things. His heart is full and His call goes out to any who would hear.

“Unto you first God,
having raised up his Son Jesus,
sent him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities”
Acts 3:26

It is called the Good News for in turning from our ways we will find His!

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness
and forbearance and long-suffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God
leadeth thee to repentance?”

Romans 2:4

Brian Troxel

The Evidence of Salvation

The Evidence of Salvation

“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Acts 9:6

Paul on his way persecuting the church was confronted on the road by Jesus Christ. His way was interrupted with God’s way and his surrender was immediate and complete. He understood Jesus to be the Lord of His life; not a part time occupation or a Sunday morning exception to his schedule; not Someone to run to when everything else failed. “Lord” was his heart-felt response. Much of the gospel presented today is of a Saviour who is ever willing to help us cope with life, to assist us on our journey while we chose the way and manner in which we live. Such was not the case in the early church nor in the presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit His people presented Jesus as Lord; a living Saviour who is to be Lord of our hearts, our thoughts, purpose and conduct of our lives.

The church today considers the life of Paul as something out of the ordinary and an anomaly in the average Christian experience. Our expectations of Him determines our experience. Expectations are really the evidence of our faith. A faith that expects little, receives little. There must be a radical change in the perception of whom He is and who He is to be in us. The nominal Christian life is one of low expectations, contentment with the status quo and a vague concept of who Christ is. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared…

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting
1 Timothy 1:16

Paul’s life was the “norm” not the exception! How long will we be content with reading the sacred scriptures which speak of one thing while our lives experience something else? When will the contradiction spark a longing within our hearts to know Him as Lord and Master? We must acknowledge the issue is not with Him but with our own dismal expectations. Paul was no different than any of us. He was a man subject to the tendencies and frailties of us all with one distinguishing characteristic: “Lord, what would YOU have me to do…” The Lordship of Christ is the pivot which transforms ordinary lives into extraordinary expressions of His grace and power.

This is the evidence, the nature and the desire of those who are filled with His Spirit and Life.

The disciples who were being persecuted for their zeal to declare Christ to the world replied to the religious leaders of their day:

“For we cannot but speak the things
which we have seen and heard”
Acts 4:20

A people who see little have little to declare. When the church is full of uninspired teachers presenting principles rather than His Life and when the people of God are content with hearing from the pulpit rather than hearing God within their own hearts;  then we must acknowledge we are living in the Day of Apostasy!

The life of faith in the individual believer is revealed in their everyday experience. Their expectations, the company they keep and the fire which burns within their hearts is the public disclosure of their faith.

This is the testimony of the ministration of Christ in early Church:

“These that have turned the world upside down
are come hither also”
Acts 17:6

Ω

“If you here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the early Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor through inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.”
– William Law

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – C.P. Thwing

Quote for Today

Spiritual Decay

“One cause of spiritual death is self-satisfaction. A traveler lost on the prairie, with the snow falling fast and thick, with his blood coursing slowly, feels that sense of ease which the opium-eater knows. He lies down in the soft white drifts. They make an easy bed. His friends find him and try to arouse him. He would rather be left undisturbed. His self-satisfaction works his death. King George III. was satisfied with his government of the American colonies; he therefore refused to remedy its abuses, and his satisfaction cost him these colonies. Upon all who are satisfied with their standing before God the chill of spiritual death has begun to rest. They can no more draw spiritual life from themselves, than one can feed his body by sucking blood from its veins. Therefore, satisfied with their relation to God, they do not strive to gain life from Him who is the source of the life spiritual, as He is of the life physical. Their self-satisfaction works the ruin of their souls

But more frequently than by self-satisfaction is the spiritual life killed by the indulgence of some sin. Many a man has felt he could surrender his entire property to God; but when the temptation arose of making a hundred dollars by a trick of the trade, he has chosen to be dishonest. But the sin may not be one of commission. It may consist in the omission of some duty. It may consist in the refusal of some means of grace. It may consist in the preference of doing nothing to advance God’s cause. Such sins of omission deaden the spiritual life. But in general the sin consists in the choice of some other good than the good which the Christian life affords.”
C.P. Thwing

Change is Coming

Change is Coming

The day of acquiescing with the words and teachings of the Kingdom is coming to an end. The time of the disciples walking, learning and hearing of His words ended abruptly in His crucifixion. Within the scope of ONE DAY everything changed. These disciples now must become Apostles. The truth of Emanuel (God with us) must give way to the Christ within (God IN us). He must go from being our teacher to being our Lord. We must go from needing bread to being bread. This is the day of substance and reality. He is coming for our words, our vows and our hearts. In the dawning of His Day the hearts of all men will be revealed. It is not a day to boast in our knowledge or zeal, it is a day to tremble and to humble ourselves under His mighty hand.

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”
Isaiah 2:11

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

THE TWO VOICES

THE TWO VOICES

“Come down, and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon,

sit on the ground: there is no throne”
Isaiah 47:1

It is a day of the humbling of nations, a day in which authority will fail and, in the rejection of all that is right, just and holy, we will see the result of men’s choices. Every form of wickedness contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

“And he cried mightily with a strong VOICE, saying,
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen,
and is become the habitation of devils,
and the hold of every foul spirit,

and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations of the wrath of her fornication,

and the kings of the earth have
committed fornication with her,

and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich
through the abundance of her delicacies”

Revelation 18:2 -3

The man tormented by the legion lived in the graveyard; every living thing seeks out an environment in which it is comfortable. The reason Babylon is inhabited with devils, foul spirits, unclean and hateful birds is because there was provision made for them. In the rejection of the light and the choosing of darkness men provide a dwelling place for such things. God’s judgment is to simply give men over to their own ways (Romans 1:18 – 32). In the midst of the declaration that Babylon is fallen we hear “another voice” crying out…

“And I heard ANOTHER VOICE from heaven,
saying,
 Come out of her, my people,
that ye be not partakers of her sins,
and that ye receive not of her plagues

Revelation 18:4

It is the calling out of God’s people unto righteousness and a sanctified life. To be numbered as one of God’s people yet to remain in Babylon WILL NOT SAVE US from the judgments of our God! Positional truths will not circumvent an unrighteous life. If we partake of “her sins” we will most assuredly partake of “her plagues”.

“God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap”

That VOICE IS SPEAKING TODAY, calling out to the people of God to COME OUT and be separate unto our God. A separated life is an obedient life; not a life lived unto itself. It is a life poured out unto the development and raising up of the BODY OF CHRIST! It seeks (like Nehemiah) the welfare of the people of God. To live unto ourselves, to choose our own way and to secretly love the things of Sodom is to ultimately partake of its plagues.

“Remember Lot’s wife”
Luke 17:32

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info
10/31/2010

I Know Your Works

I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works which correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. Peter enjoins us…

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

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

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in a genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. For the sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the Lord.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info