Sanctified Lives

Sanctified Lives
A.W. Tozer

Today more than ever we Christians need to learn how to sanctify the ordinary!

In this cynical generation, people have become overstimulated to the place where their nerves are jaded and their tastes corrupted. Everything is common and almost everything is boring. The sacred has been secularized, the holy vulgarized and worship converted into a form of entertainment
– A.W. Tozer

“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it…”
Isaiah 59:14-15

Please read: Being True

BT

Godly Sorrow

Godly Sorrow

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry,
but that you were made sorry to repentance”
2 Corinthians 7:9

Godly sorrow is the fruit of godly ministry. The truth of God connects our everyday walk with our future inheritance. The man who buried his talent in the ground determined his future inheritance in God. The one who built their house by hearing (without doing) the future collapse was the result of his present error. To give in to temptation today may determine bondage and sorrow in our future.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Romans 6:16

The greatest gift of God to us is the gift of repentance. It frees the heart, destroys condemnation and its riches are filled with goodness, mercy, and peace in our Saviours’ love.

________________

It is a good example for us to consider the construct of the Hebrew Language in order for us to understand the connection between our present doings and our future inheritance.

Hebrew understandings
of Tense and Time

Unlike today, the very construct of the Hebrew language when all the tenses are simplified essentially consisted of two tenses; past and future where the future tense incorporates the present.

[“In the Bible there are only two tenses… yes, only two (ken, rak shnaim,) past and future. There is no (ein) present tense in the Bible!” Yaron-Lessons in Hebrew]

How we have lost this critical truth in God! The Ancient Hebrew language was the only language that evolved through God’s dealings with them. Their whole history was determined by their relationship with God. If they departed from His truths and His ways they experienced judgment, captivity, and futility and if they walked with Him blessings and prosperity graced their nation. Because of this vital concept, they understood that their present doings determined their future; they did not compartmentalize present things from future realities. It is this powerful concept which conveyed to them the healthy fear of the Lord causing them to weigh their present actions with tomorrow’s outcome. Without this linkage, there is no true ability to understand God Himself.

We live in a day and speak in a language where past, present, and future tenses have no connection. This ethos has invaded the Church, its gospel, and its understanding of God; for of a truth, our presentation of Him is the reflection of our understanding of Him. A gospel that separates my present walk from any future implications robs His people from “walking circumspectly” before the Lord. Forgiveness has become the panacea for unholy living. Not long ago in my personal time with God, He impressed upon me a powerful truth “An individual’s concept of sin reveals their estimation of God”. Where sin is treated lightly it is because God is lightly esteemed. Repentance and godly sorrow are the hallmarks of a life growing in the wonder and the dynamic of God. Wherever and whenever the ministry of God fails to present God as He is “godly sorrow” is lacking and men and women walk in a salvation filled with regrets and sub-standard living.

“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret…”
2 Corinthians 7:9-10

Whenever God is lightly esteemed sin will abound. Paul in his presentation of grace in his Epistle to the Romans declares “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2). When grace is taught in an unrighteous manner where the stain and the contagion of sin have been compromised the Light of God is dimmed and the rampant culture of decay and lawlessness will lay hold of His church and correspondingly a nation will fall in its own folly.

“Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.”
Proverbs 10:23 (ESV)

Another translation says…

“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief:
but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”
Proverbs 10:23 (KJV)

Where sin and evil are treated lightly, wisdom and understanding are marginalized and the result will be chaos and lawlessness. This is true whether it be in our own personal life, the family unit, or the household of God.

The true ministration of Christ brings us to godly sorrow, repentance, and the joy of His salvation.

(Unedited excerpt from coming book, comments welcome)

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Break Up Your Fallow Ground

Break Up Your Fallow Ground

” Sow to yourselves in righteousness,
reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground:
for it is time to seek the Lord,
till he come and rain righteousness upon you”

(Hosea 10:12)

Brian Troxel

Simplicity of Life – Part One

The Simplicity of Life

Part One

“Let your garments be always white.
Let not oil be lacking on your head”
Ecclesiastes 9:8 (ESV)

The great gift afforded us of the garments of salvation require our attention to keep them white and clean. We walk in a world filled with contamination, temptation and sin at every turn. Uncleanness in conversation, things which would corrupt our thought life and offenses from which bitterness and unforgiveness may arise all threaten to stain our garments. Our exposure to all of these things in their varied forms require His grace and power to cleanse us from “all unrighteousness”; otherwise the residue can poison our minds and spirits. There is an aggregate effect upon us. John encourages us to deal faithfully with the sins and offenses in our life.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’
1 John 1:9

His dealings with sin in our life are not only to forgive but His power is released to also cleanse us from any residue. Many who deal lightly with sin never go deep enough in their transactions with God to the point of knowing and experiencing the cleansing which should accompany the regenerating work of grace. Bitterness, anger, sins of the flesh, anything which impairs our newness of Life in Him, needs to be fully worked out until we are clean and pure again in His sight.

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
Hebrews 12:15

Bitterness that is not dealt with will always spring up defiling not only ourselves but others. Its rancor and poison cannot be kept from the tongue unto the spreading of malicious gossip often accompanied with unwholesome deeds that bring damnation and judgment upon many. May we be instructed in the way of the Lord by the simplicity of His words:

“Let your garments be always white”

(to be continued)

Brian Troxel

Carelessness (Revised)

CARELESSNESS

(Revised)

“…But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink;
and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not”
AMOS 2:12

The road to apostasy is paved with carelessness, the watering down of true discipleship, and a refusal to hear the Word of the Lord. The calamities and judgments that followed such a prescription of “religion” are devastating and inevitable. Where the fear of the Lord no longer enters the mind of the people of God, His Holiness and Majesty is watered down to a God who no longer is concerned about righteousness and truth. Truth becomes a teaching rather than a life and righteousness is reduced to doctrinal position in the stead of a heart where the fire of God burns the dross of fallen humanity. Where the majority of the preaching today in its essence declares ‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil”.

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men who are settled in complacency,
who say in their heart,
The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil
Zephaniah 1:12

The result of the religion of men is to reduce God to an idea and a concept which portrays Him as one that neither rewards righteousness nor judges evil. While this is not said in so many words it is the premise of much of the presentation of the gospel in this hour. We tell the world that they need to repent but after having “accepted Him” there is a carelessness about how one lives. The complacency and apathy of the people of God in this hour is evident when we no longer expect from ourselves a life of true righteousness and those who are pursuing this life are told to “drink wine (compromise)” and in effect “don’t take this stuff too seriously”. We hear the expression that a man is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good; in fact it should be stated that unless we become heavenly minded our lives are no earthly good!

May the Lord stir up the prophetic word in this hour to show the error, apostasy and the carelessness of His people. Let there be a WORD going forth in the FIRE of His love and jealously that this is the DAY OF THE LORD. THIS IS THE DAY TO TURN FROM OUR WAYS. It is not a day to live carelessly and walk in the love of the things of this world for the WORD OF THE LORD IS…

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him
I John 2:15

The focus of our life is the revelation of the love of our life. Our prayer life reveals the things that are dear to us. If all we pray for is our needs, wants and troubles, if the only things we hold up in prayer are those things that concern US and OUR little circle then we NEED to find Him afresh. We are here for the “building up of the Body of Christ”; to see the “Unity of the Faith” revealed IN THE EARTH! If the Risen Christ is ever “making intercession for US” that expression of love for others should also be a reality in our hearts.

Brian Troxel

Living Waters – Part Two

Living Waters

Thirsting, Drinking and Flowing

Part Two

“If the clouds be full of rain,
they empty themselves upon the earth”
Ecclesiastes 11:3

How simple is the wise man’s observation? Those who are full of Christ must empty themselves upon the earth. Such is God’s heavenly purpose! Jude and Peter speak to those who have deviated from the well of Life: those who are “carried about by winds” (lifeless teachings and the “methods of men”; Ephesians 4:14); “carried about with every wind of doctrine and the methods of men” whereby they become “wells without water…” (2 Peter 2:17) and “clouds without water…” (Jude 1:12).

“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots…”
Jude 1:12

These ones are comfortable in our midst and to a large degree the present day ministry is satisfied with “wells without water”. There is a  contentment with the complacency of a dry and barren people in whom there is no water. A people who are unaware of their accountability to BE springs of living water to the world around us is the indictment and fruit of a ministry that knows not God. The reason Jude and Peter addressed these things is because we will all give an account…

“…each man’s work will be revealed.
For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire;
and the fire itself will test
what sort of work each man’s work is”

1 Corinthians 3:13

Paul pleads with the believers in Corinth.

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN the faith;
prove your own selves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Wherever true faith is living and beating within the life of an individual, the ministration of the life and works of its Author will be evident. The flowing of the living waters is the fruit of those who thirst and drink from the well of Christ.

“If ANY man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his (own) belly shall flow rivers of living water
John 7:37-38

There is "no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus". The Word of God is given to bring change and transformation. The Call of God is to come higher and to go deeper into this ONE of whom the scripture declares..."unto us a son is given". He has been graciously given unto us... without reserve, without merit and without measure. The Call of God is for us to come and drink deeply of His provisions... from which the flow of His wonder becomes our own experience. The call goes out even now "If ANY man truly thirst for this life", may we respond and come afresh to Him!

Brian Troxel

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