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Posts Tagged ‘The Love of God’

Thought for Today

Come Away

Come Away!

“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Song of songs 2:16

The call of God to His own is always one to new places of intimacy in relationship. Not only does He call but He speaks words of endearment to those who follow after Him. His own know Him as “Beloved” and He calls us “my fair one” There is no plurality here; He is not speaking to a congregation or a crowd. He is calling out to one who is the object of His great love.

In religious circles the call is broad; it is a generic call and the references are impersonal. Those who are His know this intense and personal relationship. There is a singular flow of His life and love unto those who are following Him. The focus of the individual’s heart is all about Him. In the seeing of Him the world becomes dim and distant and its temptations start to lose their power and attraction. It is out of this wonder of Him drawing near that we feel the power of His love rising in our hearts to respond to the call of a deeper knowing of Him. This call is characterized by words of incomprehensible beauty: “my fair one”. Who can resist such undeserved love? Who is able to fathom such redemptive love? How can we ever measure or understand its cause or the depths from which its flows?

Lost within the broad landscape of religion, and a world gone mad with the voices and the rantings of men who think they have the answers, there is the “still small voice”. It draws the heart with whispers of grace and affection; “come away my fair one… come to Me”.

Within this growing relationship the need to fortify our place in Him with the teachings and doctrines of men disappears for His love itself becomes our surety and solace. His love constrains us to willingly arise from where we are to follow on to deeper places of affection and wonder. We touch the holy atmosphere of His cords of love that embrace us setting our own hearts ablaze with their fervency. The words flowing between the “beloved” and the “my fair one” are the language of this holy union:

“I am my beloved’s,
and my beloved is mine”
Song of songs 6:3

He is hers because she is His!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Philosophy versus Truth

Contained within the Greek language are differing words for knowledge and love. The word for Philosophy comes from two Greek words (φίλος- philos) and (σοφία-sophia). Philos is one of three main Greek words for Love; agape, philos, and eros. Each speak to a realm or a sphere of love. Eros is a love which proceeds from the flesh and in turn loves fleshly things. Philo is a love which originates from the soul; it speaks of friendship and affection and when combined with (σοφία-sophia) we end up with the word philosophy: man’s love for wisdom and knowledge. (In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil over the tree of life). Agape is a love which is of the Spirit, it is a pure love for it is God’s Love. It is a love that proceeds from Him, given and offered to all to love God with every fiber of their beings.

“…because they received not the love (agape) of the truth,
that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie”
2 Thessalonians 2:10-11

Those who are His have received a love (agape) of the truth; they can no longer abide or be content with mere information and teachings. To them who are called, Truth is a Life; it is nothing less than Jesus Himself. It is no longer something to hold in the intellect but something that must be known experientially within the regions of their own heart. In the reception of this Love of Him, men and women are captured by the beauty, the wisdom and the Glory of God of which Jesus is the “express image” (Hebrews 1:3) and in whom the “fullness of the Godhead dwells”. It is in Him we behold the sum and the substance of the Father. It is in Him that all the mystery of God Himself is hidden and it is in coming to know Him that we are changed from one glory into another! How can we be satisfied with anything other than Christ living, dwelling and reigning within our hearts? Why meddle in the vain philosophy of religion as the Scribes and the Pharisees of old who, knowing the word in the intellect could not see Him in the Spirit? They could not see Him nor hear Him in the Words of Life that He spoke. When men and women do not passionately desire to see Him in the midst of our gatherings, in the secret places of our hearts, and to see the fulness of Him in our brothers and sisters, then know that philosophy has replaced the agape of the truth.

Truth must be revealed in the power of God to live righteously in Christ. Religion and philosophy are expressed in the mere appearance of a thing rather than the substance of a thing. The two are not compatible and it is to such Paul speaks in his admonition to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:5). The Day of separation is upon us, and may the Lord quicken our hearts to seek out in Him the power and the glory to walk “worthy” of Him in this hour (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

“Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”

Colossians 2:8-9

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE

“…He will rest in his love”
ZEPHANIAH 3:17

John in his epistles makes some very startling statements, one of them being “God is Love”. Whenever love is used in relation to people it is always spoken as a verb, it is something we do or express. John’s profound statement reveals that love is not just something God does it is what He IS in Himself. Since He IS Love, everything He does flows from that one central point of His being which is governed by what He is. All of His justice, judgment, wisdom and righteousness are governed by LOVE. In order for us to understand such high and holy things we must recognize that it is impossible to separate love from all of His other attributes. God being who He is is incapable of internal conflicts; Holiness is never in conflict with Mercy, Judgement and Forgiveness meet without compromise, and Grace and Truth kiss in the Son.

Zephaniah is a Book of Judgment. It is a Book that prophesies of tremendous destruction and suffering upon His people. It is a book for today. It is a book whose very name means “hidden of YHWH”. It is a writing that pronounces great judgements upon Judah, Jerusalem and upon the surrounding nations for their idolatry, disobedience, apathy and unrighteousness. Love is the reins of our God. He knows that sin, idolatry and disobedience left unchecked will bring the human race into the very bowels of hell itself. Every act of selfishness is an offense to Him. Every impure motive, every attempt at deceit and hypocrisy is the very horror that keeps people from the glory and wonder of truth. For LOVE itself is the full expression of truth in substance and reality. In Corinthians Paul writes that “love thinks no evil”, and “seeks not its own way”. These are the fruits of the very Spirit of Truth. It is no wonder that in Zephaniah, after all of the pronouncements of incomprehensible judgments we read… “He will rest in His Love”. For at the end of all His judgements the scriptures declare that men will learn righteousness. When evil is judged and hypocrisy is destroyed then will God rejoice over His own, He will joy over them with singing. When righteousness and truth prevail God rejoices over His creation and peace and joy reign in the hearts of men.

Prior to the pouring forth of His wrath upon His Own He speaks of her ways and her insolence…

“Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction;
she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.
Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves;
they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons:
her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
they have done violence to the law.
The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity:
every morning doth He brings His judgment to light,
he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame…”
ZEPHANIAH 3:1-5

In the midst of such wickedness in His house and the things which are committed in His Name God must rise up to restore righteousness and judge evil. Even through all of this “God is in the midst” and “He will not do iniquity” and “every morning He brings His judgement to light” for He fails not yet the unjust continue on in their wicked ways.

Peter declares that “Judgement must begin in God’s House” even before the nations of the world.

“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

We see this same truth in Zephaniah as God’s anger turns from His house to the unbelieving…

“I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate;
I made their streets waste, that none passeth by:
their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man,
that there is none inhabitant.
I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction;
so their dwelling should not be cut off,
howsoever I punished them:
but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings”
ZEPHANIAH 3:6-7

God’s judgements are proportional to the stubbornness and rebellion of men’s hearts. He sends devastation and great punishments. If they do not repent He brings greater consequences for His motive is redemption and His reins are love and mercy.

“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord,
until the day that I rise up to the prey:
for my determination is to gather the nations,
that I may assemble the kingdoms,
to pour upon them mine indignation,
even all my fierce anger:
for all the earth shall be devoured
with the fire of my jealousy”
ZEPHANIAH 3:8

When men fail to repent God becomes determined to pour out fierce anger and indignation and the earth will be engulfed in the fire of His jealously. The Day of the Lord is at hand and we are standing upon the very brink of the summation of all that He has purposed. What are the results of His judgements?

“For then will I turn to the people a pure language,
that they may all call upon the name of the Lord,
to serve him with one consent…”
ZEPHANIAH 3:9

“I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people,
and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies;
neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth:
for they shall feed and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid”
ZEPHANIAH 3:12-13

The result of God’s judgments is people who are free from iniquity (self will), lying, deceit and pride. His love as expressed in judgement will bring forth His desired end: a pure and holy people.

God will rest in His love, He will conqueror all and “…the Lord alone will be exalted in that day”! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Brian Troxel

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IS OUR LOVE DIFFERENT?

“And if ye salute your brethren only,
what do ye more than others?
do not even the publicans so?”
MATTHEW 5:47

The Greek word for “salute” would best be translated here to embrace or literally as Thayer’s Greek Thesaurus translates this word, “to draw to one’s self”. It is translated “embraced” in Hebrews 11:13. In the verse preceding this one Jesus states that if we love {agapao Grk.} only those that love us, how do we differ from the publicans? May the weight of these things impact us as we look around and see this love displayed to varying degrees throughout the church today. Does this not vividly describe the condition of the sectarian ways to which we have fallen? We see churches and various groups holding on to the close confines of those that “fellowship” with them and the common definition of the church or body today has mistakenly come to mean the ones that we meet with.

To add weight and importance to the above verse Jesus follows with…

“Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”
MATTHEW 5:48

In other words our Father in Heaven is nothing like this. His Love knows no bounds; He does not show impartiality nor is He a respecter of persons. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust and His Son died for the sins of the world. We speak of “our” church, “our” pastor and “our” ministry as if we owned something or that because of our goodness these things have become ours. In Corinthians Paul states…

“For who makes you differ from another?
And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now if you did indeed receive it,
why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
1CORINTHIANS 4:7

If we seek only to meet with those of like mind we remove from us the wonder of His mosaic and the richness of the variations of His Wisdom. When we exclude or diminish another for differing from us we reveal the love of this world. We wonder why the world has not seen the Glory of our God in our midst while we live divided and walk in a love that loves only those that love us.

Peter, one of the Chief Apostles, started to segregate himself from the “gentiles” in his midst and was strongly rebuked by Paul and rightly so. The carnal man seeks to distinguish himself from others thus elevating one’s self. The need for recognition and distinction is at the core of that fallen nature. Jesus HAS broken down the middle partition between Jew and Gentile, between “Baptists” and “Pentecostals” and whatever other walls may be added through the “names” of teachings and doctrines. The gathering of the people is to be unto Him and Him alone.

Sadly the Proverb speaks to our day with such clarity…

“Only by pride cometh contention”
PROVERBS 13:10

Ω

“Division has done more to hide Christ from the view of men
than all the infidelity that has ever been spoken”
G. MacDonald

Brian Troxel

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SUCH LOVE

“Wherefore in all things
it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren”
HEBREWS 2:17

Love always seeks to identify with the object of its desire. We read here of the astounding truth that there was a necessity within the heart of the SON to be made like unto us! There was an obligation for Him to leave the splendor of heaven to come and become a MAN, so identifying with us in our weaknesses, our temptations, and our limitations that HE would BECOME a merciful high priest for us unto God the Father.

“Therefore, in all things He HAD to be made like His brethren,
that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest
in things pertaining to God… For in that He Himself has suffered,
being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted”
HEBREWS 2:17 – 18 NKJV

It is IN HIM identifying with us, becoming us, becoming our sin that we are to become the righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21). The reason that He was compelled to be “made like unto His brethren” was because of LOVE. It was the LOVE of God sending His own Son into this world that we might know, walk and live in the power of His Eternal Life.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”
JOHN 3:16

That same Love that precipitated the giving of His only begotten Son to whoever calls upon His Name is the same love that initiates within us the desire to identify with Him, that we may be made like unto Him. Teachings, religious concepts and human desire will all fail to bring this to pass. Rather it is that same “agape’” love working within us, inspiring us to identify with Him in all things.

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead”
PHILLIPIANS 3:10 – 11

Love is the fulfillment of God’s purpose in man. His Love. It is not only the end of His purposes; it is the WAY into His purposes. Without Love being the only motivator within our hearts our motives are wrong, selfish and fragile. For only God’s Love “endures all things”, “thinks no evil” and wonderfully “NEVER fails”.

“God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God,
and God in him”
I JOHN 4:16

God’s love in us cannot be known apart from Him; it is only in HIM dwelling in us that we know and live within the sphere of that Love. The measure of our love for Him is revealed in the desire to seek, to live, to participate and identify with Him in this journey of life. The power of His Love will naturally produce abandonment to Him. It is in us discovering the “the pearl of great price” that we gladly sell all that we have in order to procure its loveliness.

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”
DEUTERONOMY 6:5

Brian Troxel

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