The Purpose of Grace – 4

The Purpose of Grace

Part Four

“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested,
that He might destroy the works of the devil”
1 John 3:8

We are called to be the light of the world. Another way to declare that powerful truth: we are called to be His Light to the world. His Light reveals the hearts of men. His light dispels the works of darkness. His Life destroys the workings of despair which would beguile and tempt men and women into the throes of bitterness, sorrow and death. Many die long before they stop breathing. Their lives are twisted and perverted by the wretchedness of sin gift wrapped in the illusion of pleasure; hollow souls with vacant eyes and empty hearts bound in the misery of addiction and hopelessness.

He came for such as these. He has invested Himself into our own brokenness, that we may take the light of His Life to see the “works of the devil” destroyed in others. God’s answer is the power of Christ shining through redeemed souls, made whole by the same grace, now reaching out to others. May we see that the answer to our timidity, our reluctance, our apathy and our fear is the fulness of God’s love in our hearts.

These who have God’s love give of themselves first to Him, then to the world. The same God who so loved the world to the point of giving His only begotten Son has also purposed for us to give of ourselves.

“… as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
John 20:21

(See The Purpose of Grace Part 1)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)
(The The Purpose of Grace Part 3)
(Grace)

Brian Troxel

Preach the Word – Longsuffering

Preach the Word – Longsuffering

Part Two

Preach the word;
be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering…”
2 Timothy 4:2

For the preaching of The Word to be effective, it must spring from the source which is the love of God Himself. Care and concern for the status of God’s people is the motive. It does not rise from self-righteousness but from a deep knowing that God is righteous. There is a suffering borne by those who behold apathy and complacency; a pain carried within the hearts of those who feel the call of God to deeper and higher things, who sense a responsibility to cry out in the darkness. The call to speak is greater than the vessel. The need to present God far outweighs the desire for acceptance and friendship. Longsuffering is the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. It is not an attribute of the flesh, but its hold upon a heart produces a suffering long with the condition of God’s House.

Sin is the reason for the suffering of humanity in its lost condition. Love is the reason for suffering in the godly. Christ suffered most, leaving us an example of what righteousness will bring to one who is growing in the wonder of His light and love.

“For consider Him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against himself…”
Hebrews 12:3

Let us consider Him who endured the contradiction of sinners, who suffered long in the midst of a perverse and lost generation. The greatest contradiction was from His own people who, in their blindness, and religious ambition, condemned Him to death, even the death of the Cross. Those who follow on to know Him must experience in some small way the same rejection.

“Love suffers long, Love endures all things”, and, to whatever measure we are held in its sway, there will be a corresponding expression of its virtues. By contrast, apathy cares little, speaks smooth words, is pragmatic and remains uninvolved with the conflicts between light and darkness. It hides itself in religious garments of false separation and indifference just as the priest and the Levite who passed by the man who lay beaten in the streets. It was the despised Samaritan, who involved himself in the plight of this one, of whom the blessed Saviour tells us to “go and DO likewise”.

The true love of God necessitates involvement and personal risk. The religion of men produces insulated living and empty words which lack the one essential thing: Love. The preaching of The Word must be fueled by the fire of the Love of God to make Him known in this world.

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”
Ephesians 3:8

The Grace of God received is revealed in the “necessity” to preach among those to whom the vessel is sent “the unsearchable riches of Christ”. There is no desire to draw men and women unto themselves. They have no church, organization or earthly agendas; they live to make Him known! Grace received can have no other heart!

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
1 Corinthians 9:17

There is no room for self-promotion or boasting; it is a burden of “necessity” to preach the Gospel. There is an unction and a fire which burns within those who hold a glimmer of His beauty and wonder. This is not a weak gospel that robs His people of the purity and the power of this love. This is not a casual gospel with a gentle presentation designed to make the wayward comfortable and anesthetized to their own sin. For what is often presented as the “love of God” is in fact a “gospel’ of a god who has been made in their own image and to their own liking.

Where are those who feel the pangs of “necessity” to make Him known in this day? May God pour out upon us a grace that produces lives compelled by the Love of God to make Him known. May He save us from slumber, indifference and ungodly apathy, speaking of “deep” things yet revealing our shallowness through unremarkable living; lives with little or no effect upon the world around us. Let us not claim to have a faith in word but which denies the power of God even within the confines of our own homes. It is time for a new generation to arise who will “Preach the Word” and bring strong exhortations of God to contend with the bondages of a lost generation.

May those who bear His fire in their hearts declare His Word unto the earth and unto the heavens!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine”
2 Timothy 4:2

Brian Troxel

The Purpose of Grace – Part Three

The Purpose of Grace

Part Three

(See The Purpose of Grace)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)
(See The Purpose of Grace Part 4)

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
Genesis 6:8

Grace is always given with purpose. God’s wisdom and creativity has such abundance that the wonder of His giving exceeds our ability to comprehend it. Lost within its glory is the essential truth of the purpose and design with which it is given.

The generation in which Noah lived was one of violence and great evil.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Genesis 6:5

It was in this context that the life of Noah shone into the surrounding darkness.

Grace given is revealed in the life lived.

“Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations,
and Noah walked with God”
Genesis 6:9

The measure of Grace received is revealed in corresponding measure in our daily walk. Grace is the very power of God to bring us to the reservoir of His enablement to live and walk beyond our own miserable resources.

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling,
not according to our works,
but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began…”
2 Timothy 1:9

Whenever and wherever God’s people disassociate Grace from Purpose there is a falling short of the call of God. Any ministration that presents grace separately from the bonds of a “holy calling” are misrepresenting the very heart and purpose of God Himself!

The end of God’s grace in Noah’s life is succinctly revealed as a testimony for us in our day.

“Thus did Noah;
according to all that God commanded him,
so did he”
Genesis 6:22

Brian Troxel