Thought for Today – The Alabaster Box

Thought for Today

The Alabaster Box
And
Freedom from Strife

“Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people…”
Psalm 18:43

God has an answer for the strife, jealously and contention of religious, partisan discord. Clinging to teachings, ministries of God, and the honoring of men and organizations over Him, clouds His likeness in this world. It destroys the very fabric and wonder of His salvation and the unity of His Spirit. It is as we abide, seek and desire Him alone that He delivers us from the misery and shame of the “strivings of the people”.

The Alabaster Box

There is no better description of this age-old spectacle than that of the story of the woman with the Alabaster box. The room was filled with the carnality, contention, and strife of the various sects of the religious world. The self-righteous Pharisee (himself a leper), the indignant and blind disciples, and the broken-hearted woman (who alone saw the true wonder and glory of the Son) were all confined in one room. Have we not all been in such situations and even sat in the seat of each of these at some time? The Pharisee was oblivious to his own state yet filled with contempt over the woman’s reputation. The disciples were supposedly distressed over the cost and waste of the ointment being poured out. The worshiping woman saw nothing other than the priceless beauty of Christ.

The Pharisee was disturbed with the person, the disciples concerned with the gift, while the woman only had eyes for Him. Singleness of eye is God’s deliverance from the “strivings of the people”. A pure heart rises above partisan politics to see the motivation from which an action proceeds. The reality is that both parties of this drama were offended by her lavish and unmitigated worship of Him! Religious people will always find fault with the true worshiper of Christ; it is an indictment of their own lack of passion for Him.

The Scribes and the Pharisees consulted in the killing of Lazarus for his very presence was a testimony to the resurrection life of Jesus. Cain killed his brother Abel because his gift was accepted and Cain’s rejected. The Pharisees had to cover their ears during the stoning of Stephen because it was a damning of their own true condition. Those who walk with singleness of eye will know loneliness in this world and the contempt of the religious but the joy of seeing Him delivers them from the “strivings of the people”.

“Truly I tell you,
wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world,
what she has done will also be told,
in memory of her”
Mark 14:9

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

HE IS ABLE PART FOUR – SPIRITUAL PRIDE

HE IS ABLE!

PART FOUR

SPIRITUAL PRIDE

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:
nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.?”
I Corinthians 12:21

Here we see Paul confronting the other enemy of the Body of Christ, spiritual pride. There are those who feel superior to other people of God so much so that they lose their ability to see the value of others in the Body of Christ. They have come to such a place that they actually do not see their need of the other members. Pride will always bring blindness and isolation. “…I have no need of you…” What an abominable thought, to come to such a “high place” that there is no recognition of the rich supply that is ministered through the wonder of relationship with one another.

“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted
by that which every joint supplieth,
according to the effectual working in the measure of every part,
maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love”
Ephesians 4:16

There is a powerful supply that is ministered by the joints, that is relationships. The Greek word used here for joint means: “a joint by which other members of the body are connected together”. This supply can only flow THROUGH the members by means of the joints. This expression of the singular is only made possible by the supply of every joint. For individuals or groups to become proud and isolated is to cut themselves off from this supply. Stagnation, decay and death are always the result of spiritual pride. It is by these joints and the functioning of every member that the Body edifies itself in the Love of God.

“But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed”
Ezekiel 47:11

Here we read in Ezekiel of a River that flowed from the threshold of the House of God, and everywhere this River flowed it brought healing and restoration to all that it touched. In the marshes and the miry places that were cut off from the flow of the river there was no healing or restoration. The life is in the River, and to partake of that life we must be part of its flow. The Hebrew word used for marshes here can be translated cistern or pool. This speaks of a separation that excludes the river; a teaching or “vision” that is not capable of embracing others. It is only running water that purifies itself. Ponds or lakes where there is no flow in or out quickly become stagnant and dead. So it is with us. The Dead Sea has inflow but no outflow. It is in the desire to save our “corporate life” that we shall surely lose it. Flow is essential to life and in the Wisdom of God we receive by giving.

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

The validity of our faith is not expressed in doctrine, teachings and programs. It is revealed by the flow of living water. How that living water is expressed in each individual is as unique as God is infinite! How glorious and rich HIS House should be. The Psalmist cries out “How beautiful is your dwelling place, oh Lord of HOSTS…” We ARE HIS Dwelling Place, we ARE HIS Temple and may there be a new priesthood that has one cry upon their hearts; to make HIS Dwelling HERE resemble HIS Dwelling place in Heaven. “Thy will be done, ON EARTH AS it is in Heaven”. John hears the Voice of God and he says it is as the sound of many waters! Hallelujah! How glorious are HIS ways, how deep is HIS mercy towards us, that in the flowing forth of HIS river through each redeemed life we are able to “comprehend with ALL saints” what is the infinite splendour of our GOD!

How tragic it is for men to declare because “I am the eye… I have no need of thee”. Even the eye can become blind with its own importance.

In the New Covenant the word “heresy” meant something quite different than it means today. In the Greek it was anything that created a faction or sect. Whether the ministry was good or false, if it, or the adherents of a particular ministry, sought to create a special group or faction it was HERESY! May the Lord humble us from our own self importance and keep us ever in the place of living and abiding in HIM. We have Churches on every street corner that cannot help but propagate division and fragmentation. We have small groups scattered throughout the land as well, each with a great potential to become an extension of another isolated cell. For without a true vision of the Body of Christ we can easily become another form of heresy.

In the Book of Acts we see the ministry moving amongst the people of God from house to house, with no thought of raising up a particular “group” but ministering to the whole Body. This eliminates any self seeking agenda of HAVING disciples and brings forth the true heart of ministry in MAKING disciples unto our Lord Jesus Christ. To make disciples is to see HIS people come to the place of obedience, unto HIM who is the HEAD, that “in all things, HE might have the preeminence”!

May the Spirit of Grace fall upon us afresh in this hour that we might rise up in a new humility and pure motive to see that it is unto HIM that our gathering together is realized. May all the foolish pride and exclusions be destroyed in the recognition of HIS great MERCY that has been afforded each of us. May the “I have no need…” be eclipsed by the full recognition of our absolute need of each other that we find ourselves not cut off from HIS FLOW, HIS LIFE and HIS LORDSHIP.

“Only by pride cometh contention”
Proverbs 13:10

Ω

“Pride is the ground in which all the other sins grow,
and the parent from which all the other sins come”
William Barclay (1907–1978)

Brian Troxel