Quote for Today – Hudson Taylor

Quote for Today

Hudson Taylor

“In 1866, Hudson Taylor and his family were about to leave England and head back to China for fresh labor. Some said it was foolish business. “I am taking my children with me,” was Mr. Taylor’s reply, “and I notice that it is not difficult for me to remember that the little ones need breakfast in the morning, dinner at midday, and something before they go to bed at night. Indeed, I could not forget it. And I find it impossible to suppose that our heavenly Father is less tender or mindful than I.”
– Hudson Taylor

“As for God, his way is perfect. The word of the LORD is pure. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.”
– 2 Samuel 22:31

Quote for Today – Corrie Ten Boom

Quote for Today

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength
– Corrie Ten Boom

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life…”
– Matthew 6:25

Thought for Today – Hope

Thought for Today –

HOPE

“If it were not for hopes, the heart would break”
– Thomas Fuller

Jesus is the hope of every life. He is the stronghold of all who put their trust in Him. Hope gives strength in the night, it is the anchor in every storm and it is the pillar that hold’s His own in every night season.

A living hope beats with the evidentiary expression of Faith. A living hope is always ratified by a living faith. It is faith which assures hope of its validity.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for…”
Hebrews 11:1

Faith and Hope are the kindred graces which inevitably brings the soul into the very Love of God.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love”
1 Corinthians 13:13

Brian Troxel

The Secret of Receiving from God

The Secret of Receiving from God

“To him that overcometh will I give…”
Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26-28, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21

His table is set for us in the midst of our perplexities and adversaries (Psalm 23:5). His bread is rich in the spiritual nutrients of grace and the fruits of His Spirit. It is not in the absence of trouble that we grow and develop; rather it is in the midst of the very things which seek to undermine us. It is in the very face of our adversities that we are outfitted to walk and apprehend his call.

Little did Joseph’s brothers know that in their treatment of Joseph they were in fact unwitting vessels setting in motion the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Saul did not comprehend that his pursuit and envy of David were the means through which God raised a man after His own heart. Whether it is apathy, envy or distrust of our brothers and sisters, the forgetful butler (Gen. 40:23) or the unfeeling jailers of God’s people, the vision stands sure. God will accomplish His ends if we hold fast to the faith He has placed within our hearts.

It is not simply those who have vision who will receive of God’s gracious hand. It is those who overcome through hope in God’s vision who receive the prize of the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Doctrinal visions fade with the passing of time. However, a vision received in the heart, held by hope in the ONE who cannot lie, is an unassailable power which will persevere until the day dawns and His purpose is fulfilled.

Overcoming is simply the result of His Life beating within our breast. His Life is the resurrection from death itself. No grave or disappointment can withstand Him. So not only do we hold to His promises but with the passage of time is the realization that we are held by Him! Through the mountains and valleys of our journey the flame of hope lights our way even in the darkest of nights. The flicker of the eternal keeps us bound to the vision He has birthed. As Paul stood before Agrippa bound in chains, held fast within the Roman penal system, he declared with all boldness…

“Whereupon, O king Agrippa,
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Acts 26:19

True vision holds one to a life of obedience regardless of the circumstances. This was not a personal vision which held Paul; it was a “heavenly” one and as such it could not fade because of earthly circumstances. This vision supplies to the beholder faith, obedience and the wonder of Hope as an anchor to our soul. Those who let the vision fade become weary, pragmatic and compromised in a world which seeks to undermine the intense fire of all true pilgrims.

Overcomers are those who keep their feet moving forward, their hearts beating with the fervor of a love which cannot be quenched. In their times of discouragement and failure they rise because of a Hope that cannot be denied. True overcomers are those who follow the “heavenly vision”.

“So often we have a kind of vague,
wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true.
The only way really to enter into them
is to believe them with the clutching intensity
of a drowning man”
William Barclay

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

PSALM 23 – SURELY – PART 24

PSALM 23

PART TWENTY-FOUR

SURELY

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life”
PSALM 23:5

SURELY! The word used for “SURELY” is a particle of affirmation in the Hebrew Language; it indicates a certainty! It is the declaration of FAITH arising from a heart that is following after the Great Shepherd! It is a declaration from a life that knows there will be “valleys of shadows” and separation, of difficulties that seem insurmountable and too deep to cross in our own strength. It is the assurance felt within the heart of one that knows the character and the grace of our God. It is the very thing that carries us through the great trials and troubles that we encounter in this life. This confidence is not borne out of a confidence in ourselves but is founded upon His Goodness and Mercy that is ours as we pursue and follow after Him! We see this same declaration echoed in the life of Paul and others in the New Testament…

“Yet in all these things
We are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
Nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
Nor things present nor things to come,
Nor height nor depth,
nor any other created thing

Shall be able to separate us
From the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

ROMANS 8:37 – 39

This surety must come from a life of knowing and doing. True confidence is the fruit of doing. While men may say and declare great things it is through those who do His Will that the quiet fruit of confidence and stability is revealed.

“And wisdom and knowledge
shall be the stability of thy times,
and strength of salvation:
the fear of the LORD is his treasure”
ISAIAH 33:6

“Surely” is the positive declaration of those who have followed their Shepherd throughout the journey of life; for in the following of Him we can be assured that His Goodness and Mercy WILL follow us. Like a boat crossing a lake it leaves a wake that goes out to distant shores. The Psalmist here declares that the wake of God’s Goodness and Mercy will “surely” touch others, bless others and make known to others the Goodness of our God. We are not here to become obsessed with watching our wake for in so doing we take our eyes off Him and we quickly become lost in the wilderness of self! It is in keeping our eyes upon Him and following Him that we can be confident of this very thing; that “His Goodness and Mercy will follow us”.

Brian Troxel

THE STEADFAST LOVE OF GOD

THE STEADFAST LOVE OF GOD

“When I said, My foot slippeth;
thy mercy, O LORD, held me up”
PSALM 94:18

The common denominator for all of God’s people is Mercy; by it alone do we stand. We are held by the unseen hand of God at every turn. His loving-kindness is the strength of our walk and the source of our strength. In this Psalm the Hebrew Word for “held” is in the imperfect tense; the action is not completed but it is an ever ongoing one. It is used in the imperfect tense so that we may know that the Mercy that held me yesterday is sufficient for my today. As He has been so will He be. Blessed be His Holy Name!

This steadfast love of God is what enables us to continue to grow in the faith and that ever beckons us to walk into the unknown resources of Him. We see Peter stepping out of the boat to walk unto Jesus in the midst of the stormy sea. We see that Faith stirring within Peter the desire and the ability to walk and identify with its author. With every new impartation of Faith for us to move into a deeper walk with Him we must have that assurance that His steadfast love will be there to hold us up. Even in Peter taking his eyes off of Jesus and sinking into the waves there was the mercies of God to hold him. Faith will always press us into the walk of a greater identification with Him. Our ability to step into the opportunities that are presented to us will be according to the trust we have in Him to hold us.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried,
offered up Isaac…
Accounting that God was able to raise him up,
even from the dead”
HEBREWS 11:17-19

Abraham offered up Isaac, because he trusted God. Every act of true obedience is based upon our accounting God faithful to hold us up. Obedience is the highest expression of faith and that faith grows in its depth and its trust of God because we learn that His Mercy will hold us up in the doing of His Will. We can count on Him in our circumstances to hold our steps as we follow Him.

Let us not linger when we feel the stirrings of His call to greater things. Let us not sit when we need to step out for our God is faithful. HE IS COME and He is ever inviting us to leave the shallow shores of safety and to launch ourselves into the great depths of His Call.

“Launch out into the deep,
and let down your nets for a draught”
LUKE 5:4

Let us grow in the knowledge
that His Mercy will hold us where His grace calls us.

Brian Troxel

THE ABUNDANT PROMISES OF GOD

The Abundant Promises of God

“I had not thought to see your face;
but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!”
GENESIS 48:11

These are the words of a dying Jacob uttered to Joseph as he beheld Joseph’s sons Manassah and Ephraim. This conniver and schemer from birth was transformed into Israel (Prince with God) through the abundant mercies and infinite wisdom of God. We see him here near the end of his journey settled in the peace of a God that surpassed all of his expectations. Through all the bitter trials and testings, the infighting of his sons and the seeming loss of Joseph, the final giving up of Benjamin to a rough and unknown Egyptian ruler, and the passing away of his beloved Rachael, we now see the realization of God’s purpose. The confrontation with God at Peniel, the holding on to the ONE with whom he struggled even while he was being broken and afflicted to the point of becoming crippled, had at long last brought forth a man who knew his God. A man who could now see clearly that what God had promised He would more than supply. His hope no longer rested in circumstances or in men for he trusted in the ONE alone who could see him through. This God was no longer to be known as the God of Abraham and Isaac; HE would now be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and JACOB! Such things are written “for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” and ‘‘Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow”. In other words they are written for our learning and our encouragement!

The very same God who fulfilled His Word and Promises given to our forefathers is the very same God who has now promised us greater things through the death and resurrection of His Only Son that we might take strong encouragement for the day in which we live.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us…”
EHPESIANS 3:20

Brian Troxel

TRUST IN THE LORD

TRUST IN THE LORD

“Trust in the LORD, and do good …”
(Ps 37:3)

Trust is the foundation of obedience. It is the substance of faith that our feet must walk upon in order for us to step into the things He has spoken to us. In order to obey that which we have heard the initial step is always taken upon the grounds of trust. We must trust Him who has instructed us to go. “For faith cometh by hearing….” The inspiration of faith arises within our hearts concerning the thing that God has spoken, and then comes the test; do we trust the One who has spoken that word? How many times has God spoken to His people His thoughts, desires and direction only to have them look at the things (obstacles) and fail. Why? Because the ability to do good, is dependent upon our capacity to trust Him in the thing He has purposed. Trust is vital to relationship. It is that history of interaction that gives us the ability to continue to step out into the unknown because we consider Him “faithful and true”. With every new discovery of His faithfulness there is a corresponding “go” from Him into new places of our inheritance in Him. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…ACCOUNTING that God was able to raise him up…” (Heb. 11:17 – 19) Abraham’s offering was the result of his accounting of the character and the faithfulness of God. This utter trust became the enablement to do the thing that God had asked.

How many of God’s people stand paralyzed at the door that stands before us whereas the only way we can step into these new places is on the grounds of faith and trust. This can become the place of disappointment and confusion or it can become the place of a new revelation. All the sermons, revelations and knowledge that we have been given can take us no further than this. It is the place of doing. It is the place of becoming. It is the juncture between the former things and the new things. It is our personal crisis. It is the point at which no man can help us. Never find rest in hearing; it is in the doing that our faith is revealed.

“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:
but the word preached did not profit them,
not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”
(Heb. 4:2).

The word that has been ministered to us is only proved to be profitable in us through the medium of obedience to that word. James exhorts us to be “doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving ourselves…” May the Lord bring into our lives the healthy Fear of the Lord that we might move on in the things He has called us to. As we are exhorted in Hebrews “Let us therefore fear…” Fear what? “…lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest…” The fear of the Lord will impel us to move; our trust in Him will enable us to step out until what He has spoken becomes the thing that we have done. God’s purpose is to have His word become flesh. That is, through the hearing and doing of His Will by the ministration of the Holy Spirit, we are to become “bone of His bone and flesh of his flesh”. As the scriptures declare “…as He is, so are we in this world”. These are staggering statements but it is not in us becoming something distinct in ourselves; it is in our lives becoming hid with Christ in God. He who walks in His light reveals who he is…so that light gives us reason to hope!

In all of this there is a gracious and loving God who is calling us unto Himself.   That call  is not only the desire of God for us to come to Him but the provision to do so; drawn upon through the walk of faith and trust. It is when the feet of the priests touched the river that the Jordan parted. Without the step there is no ministration of the provision. It was in the digging of the trenches that an army perishing of thirst was satisfied. God would have us to know that IN the very act of obedience is the revelation of His provision.  As the old hymn proclaims to us from generations before “Trust and obey for there is no other way…”

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land,
and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psalm 37:3

B. Troxel