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Posts Tagged ‘Serving God’


Serving God

Part One

“And Jesus answering, said to him,
“It has been written:
‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and you shall serve Him only”
Luke 4:8

Serving God will always be proportional to the condition of our hearts. Divided loyalties result in a tainted service unto Him. Jesus said unequivocally “No man can serve two masters…”. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit to bring an individual to the singular desire to serve God. Purity of heart (a heart void of mixture or agendas) is the criteria for wholly serving God. Within the core of human nature lies the unbridled and undisciplined chaos of the fall. This results in the lawlessness of the cravings and relentless pursuit for self-realization, self-gratification, and self-promotion. This inherent evil produces the conflicts, wars and grievous atrocities in the Body of Christ around us.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?
Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”
James 4:1

It is the war within that produces the conflicts without. The horrific need for control and recognition and satisfaction is the curse of the religious world. The great deception here is the promotion of self under the guise of serving God. Those who crucified Jesus did so in the name of God through the innate evil of self-serving ambition. Lust, self-love, covetousness, envy and jealousy are mitigating factors that rob the heart of its singular desire to serve and honor God. A divided heart is an evil heart. A divided heart is an unstable heart. A heart driven by a passion for anything other than the love of God will, in the end, betray Him. Dying to self is the only means to a pure and single heart. God has no other answer for the human condition.

“…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him,
that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin”
Romans 6:6

Freedom in Christ comes by our co-crucifixion with Him. It is in our daily walk of following Him that we are freed from the desires and lusts of self. Our ability to serve God with a whole heart will be proportional to the depth of our co-crucifixion with Him.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35

In the discipleship of picking up our cross and following Him His Love will be seen. Only disciples have the ability to show forth the wonder of the Love of Christ. True disciples of Christ are easily seen by the purity of love that flows to others.

Brian Troxel

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Quote for Today

Benedict of Nursia

“The first degree of humility is prompt obedience”
Benedict of Nursia

 

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Thought for Today

Humble Service to God

“Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar,
that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon”
Exodus 26:20

Religion has a way of elevating those who minister. In the fabrication of lofty concepts of ministry we unwittingly provide the means of pride and thereby the downfall of many. True service unto the Lord is in humility; those who are His will not allow the altar upon which they serve to be elevated. The true servants of God do not serve organizations, ministries and people; they live unto Him alone.

“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind”
Acts 20:19

Whenever pride enters the hearts of those who serve at His altar the ministration is doomed to fail and the nakedness and shame of one’s life will be sure to follow. It is the horror of religion that men and women seek the elevated place and in turn people give undue honor unto those who do so.

Those who truly serve the Lord touch His glory. It is in this touching of His glory that they know the authentic humility of the Spirit of God. Pride cannot exist where His Glory dwells.

“Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him”
Deuteronomy 6:13

Brian Troxel

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 Thought for Today

Circumstances

“And being not weak in faith,
he considered not his own body now dead*,
when he was about an hundred years old,
neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
He staggered not at the promise of God…
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”
Romans 4:19-20

In the circumstances of life there are always obstacles and hindrances to the promises of God. Sickness, old age, finances, relationships, persecutions and a multitude of other things offer us reasons to excuse ourselves from our occupation of declaring Him to this generation.

The Greek translation of the above scripture literally states that Abraham fully considered his own body as being dead; yet in the face of this “he staggered not at the promise of God”. It is here that faith stands and takes us beyond our circumstances and abilities and keeps us active regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves. Many of our brothers and sisters at this moment are facing death, imprisonment, loneliness, health issues and untold hardships yet they are holding on to the promises of our faithful God. Shall we not do the same?

Whatever may be His promise to us, consider not the circumstance; consider God.

*Note: The KJV is saying the same thing but in a more difficult way to understand… “he considered not” means he did not let his “body being good as dead”, enter into his “accounting God” well able to fulfill the promise. Nor should we.

Brian Troxel

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Thought for Today

Religious Sin

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned:
for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord,
and thy words: because I feared the people,
and obeyed their voice
1 Samuel 15:24

The above scripture taken from the narrative of Saul’s life is one of a long and sad commentary on his reign in Israel. This event serves as a stern warning to us as to what the Lord considers obedience. Saul’s “partial obedience” is confronted by the Prophet Samuel concerning the Amalekites.

“And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?”
1 Samuel 15:18-19

“But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”
1 Samuel 15:21

Saul had partially fulfilled the Word of the Lord to him. He had destroyed the Amalekites, but he kept the king alive and allowed the people to keep the spoils of battle to “sacrifice” them to the Lord.

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king”
1 Samuel 15:22-23

In God’s eyes partial obedience is sin and disobedience. Religious sin is when His ministers obey the voice of the people rather than God. It is one of the greatest of all sins for when those who are directly responsible for expressing God’s will and way in the earth corrupt their allegiance to Him, God’s name is blasphemed. Religious sin is always cloaked in the pretense of worshiping God, honoring God or serving God. Yet He who weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart sees it as disobedience and rebellion. The religious sin of appearing to serve the Lord (see the sin of Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1-11) is ever shrouded in deceit to appear spiritual to those around us. Things which should be destroyed or forsaken are instead offered up to God as a sacrifice.

Religious sin is found wherever and whenever men and women listen to the voice of the people rather than to God. When the appearance of a thing is more important than obedience, when that which the Lord has spoken is compromised with the desire to be pleasing in the sight of the people rather than in the sight of God, the result is rejection and sorrow.

“Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
he hath also rejected thee from being king”

Obedience is the highest and purest expression of true worship and sacrifice.

“For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10

Brian Troxel

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Thought for Today

Mercy

“You have magnified Your mercy
which You have shown to me in saving my life.
And I am not able to escape to the mountain
lest some evil overtake me and I die.
Behold, now, this city is near, to flee there,
and it is a little one. Please let me escape there!”
Genesis 19:19

This is the first instance in which mercy is mentioned in the scriptures. God’s impending judgement upon Sodom could not be executed until Lot left the city (because of Abraham’s prayer). God told Lot to go to the mountain to be safe but Lot was fearful and called upon God’s mercy to circumvent God’s will! Rather than obeying God he used God’s mercy to walk in a partial obedience. Such is the half-hearted response to God throughout the history of man. God granted Lot’s request but it is a sad testimony.

This scripture came to mind the other day as I was praying. I found myself asking God for His mercy to do His will. Not only did the above scripture come to mind but also the following:

“For this reason I make request to you,
brothers, by the mercies of God,
that you will give your bodies as a living offering,
holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship
it is right for you to give him”
Romans 12:1 (BBE)

These two passages show the contrasting ways in which we avail ourselves of God’s mercy; one for partial obedience and the other as a complete offering of ourselves to God. Though God may allow the partial we must recognize our tremendous need of His mercy to walk in full submission to Him. True obedience is only possible by the outworking of His mercy in our lives.

The natural man cannot walk with God; the unregenerate heart will always insist on its own way. To whatever extent our lives are yielded to Him will be the measure of His ministrations of grace and mercy being received.

“Thou in thy mercy
hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed”
Exodus 15:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Spiritual Temperature

fervent

“fervent in spirit”
Romans 12:11

In this day of apathy and lukewarm expressions of faith we need this simple statement of the Holy Spirit to remind us of our calling. We are surrounded and bombarded by the world, the lust of the flesh, the ease of life and the deception of the status quo. We watch in horror how His people treat one another; divided by secular organizations (all in His Name) and fully capable of all manner of evil to one another with no sense of  accountability to Him. This dreadful state is the result of a people who are not “beholding the Head” or walking in His Life. Fervency of spirit is the result of His Spirit burning within our lives.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
For our God is a consuming fire
Hebrews 12:28-29

There are many who preach grace from the pulpit but it is a grace that ministers a human comfort, a consoling message to our sin, worldliness and cold hearts. This “grace” brings an apathy to people who are no longer aware of the Day which is upon us. It is a false grace, the Lie of the very Devil who would lure God’s people into a deadly slumber of spirit which will result in the judgment of a Holy God.

The true ministration of Grace brings forth lives who are enabled to serve God acceptably with “reverence and godly fear”. The Church of Jesus Christ is in need of burning expressions of His Light and His Glory to re-ignite the flame of God within the sanctuary of our hearts. If our God is a consuming fire what should be the temperature of the hearts of those who claim He is alive in them? We cannot sit Sunday after Sunday hearing sermons (which may be good) without the intensity of something rising up within us to be empowered and inspired as a flaming torch for Him! How can this slumber continue without a sense of life passing us by; without the tasting and seeing of His wonder being expressed from our own hearts?

Jesus commenting on John the Baptist declared:

“He was a burning and a shining light…”
John 5:35

Should not this be the normal testimony of Jesus concerning each of us?

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

Do we believe this? The revelation of our belief is in the outflow of lives held by the fervency of His Spirit. How can we be comfortable with a life which has no resemblance to this? The complacency of spirit, the dead thing men call life in our day, the standards of the life of a Christian are so low that even the world takes note of our impotency.

“For the name of God
is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…”
Romans 2:24

Read the context of this scripture and feel the passion and heart of God beating in Paul’s heart. Let us hear the admonition of His voice in our Day. Let us turn from our wicked, self-deceiving, and worldly ways and offer ourselves afresh unto Him who can turn our cold and dead hearts into flaming expressions of living sacrifices.

It is the empty altar which receives no fire.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God”
Romans 12:1

The evidence of His mercy received is a free-will offering unto Him. The greater the reception of mercy the greater is the depth of our offering.

“Our God is a Consuming Fire”

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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