TEMPTATION

TEMPTATION

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
James 1:12

Temptation is neither a sin nor a sign of carnality. It is the everyday reality for all men. The issue is not temptation but the response to it within our heart that matters. It is through enduring and resisting temptation that the victory of the Crown of Life is received. Where there is no battle there can be no crown. The crown of life spoken of here is given to those who by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour have fought the fierce battles that wage in the secret places of our hearts and minds, often while no one is watching. They have known the utter weakness of the flesh, the deceitfulness of their own heart and the pressure that comes to bear upon them in their walk of faith. Left to ourselves the outcome would be certain and the end of the matter sure.

“But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
I CORINTHIANS 15:57

The Glory of this life of Faith in Christ Jesus is that we are not left to ourselves in the matter of overcoming sin. We are not orphans that are left to our own resources in this matter, nor are we to labour under the rigorous requirements of the Law by our own strength! We have available to us the wonder and the glory of “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!” It is through HIM that we are made “more than conquerors”. In Him we are not only freed from the power of Sin but are indeed made alive that we can walk in the very Spirit of His Life and provision. Such things are not known by simply taking thought. These virtues of His Life are won in the arena of this life. It is the Crown of His life that we receive as we overcome and endure the hardships of temptation and trial. It is in these places that we learn the secrets of dependence and victory; the sufficiency of His Grace in contrast to our weakness; the discovery that “love endures ALL things”; that He is “…able to keep us from stumbling”.

These victories are to be known in the life of every believer. We not only have His rich provision for the victory but even in the midst of defeats and discouragements we have the assurance of forgiveness and mercy to rise up from every one of them and press the battle until the victory has been received.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rises again”
PROVERBS 24:16

The life of the Christian is more than forgiveness, more than mere religious sayings and nice sermons; it is a life of pursuit, of victory and of overcoming as He overcame. It is in growing in Him, learning of Him and discovering the absolute necessity of abiding in Him that we find the wonder of His provision and mercy.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world even your faith.”
I JOHN 5:4

Brian Troxel

STRENGTHENED BY FAITH

Strengthened by Faith

“…through faith in His name, has made this man strong,
whom you see and know”
ACTS 3:26

Faith comes to make men strong. It takes the lame, the deaf and the blind and makes them whole. It causes the weak things of this world to confound the strong. It finds the lost and wandering and fills them with His purpose. The excerpt of scripture above is from Peter’s sermon in the Temple after the healing of a man who was lame from birth. When Peter and John were confronted by the leaders of their day Peter spoke with great boldness and effect.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus”
ACTS 4:13

Faith, living faith, true and powerful faith, takes ordinary men and women and makes them strong. Throughout the scriptures we read “BY FAITH…” The religious leaders of that day “TOOK KNOWLEDGE” that these men “HAD BEEN WITH JESUS”! Is the world around us acknowledging that we have been with Jesus? If not, why? Where is the disconnect? Where are those who are weary and troubled by the sterile, safe, ambiguous Christian expression in our land? Where are those who are tired of words, explanations and books describing our doctrinal position in Christ rather than defining what we are to BE in CHRIST? How can we believe that we have no part to play in HIS WILL in the earth when the scriptures are full of accounts of those who risked their lives for the Glory of HIS NAME? How can we read the book of THE ACTS of the Apostles and not see the great contradiction between then and now? Countless Christians are weak and impotent simply because they KNOW NOT WHO HAS CALLED THEM AND WHAT HE HAS CALLED THEM UNTO. Our Christian experience is much more than a “human choice” to accept Him into our lives. We are the result of THE ETERNAL CALL OF GOD unto a specific purpose which we will only discover through the obedient walk of faith in our lives!

“But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should SHOW forth the praises of him
who hath CALLED you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
1 PETER 2:9

“That ye would walk worthy of God,
who hath CALLED you unto his kingdom and glory”
1 THESSALONIANS 2:12

This thing called faith should cause us “to WALK worthy of God” in this world; not TALK worthy, but WALK and BE expressions of HIS GLORY. When will those around us take notice that we have been with Jesus? When our walk begins to match our talk. When the name by which we identify ourselves is none other than the name of Jesus rather than one of countless denominations. Let the words of Paul convict us…

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul;
and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
was Paul crucified for you?
or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
1 CORINTHIANS 1:12 – 13

Read the context of such things and let them sink deeply into our hearts. Let us return to the living truth from whence TRUE AND POWERFUL EXPRESSIONS OF FAITH ARISE IN POWER AND LIFE. Wherever there are powerful ministrations of truth there will be powerful expressions of FAITH; Faith to make men strong, Faith to make men free and Faith to bring HIS LIFE and GLORY into this world.

Ω

“Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources,
and thus they attempt very little and they always fail.
All giants have been weak men who did great things for God
because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them”
James Hudson Taylor

Brian Troxel

THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

“The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?”

PSALM 27:1

This statement is made by one who has a HISTORY with his God. This is not a doctrinal statement. It is the declaration of a man who has known adversity, failure and victory in his walk with the Most High. We cannot know HIM this way without having experienced our own weaknesses. It is in encountering the situations that are greater than our own resources that we “discover” that in truth HE IS OUR STRENGTH. Even our failures become the very stepping stones into this life of knowing HIM as our strength. The faltering steps of the Disciples slowly turn into the Apostolic Tread that became the foundation of the early church. The lives of believers whose stories grace the pages of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs were just like us yet as they walked with HIM they became strong. They discovered through the medium of faith and obedience that HE WAS in fact their strength. HIS STRENGTH displaced the fear of men and situations, HIS FAITHFULNESS destroyed the fear of their own weakness and HIS LOVE cast out all fear.

People who never “do” never know the reality of stepping into the raging waters of the storms that come but run from the very MEANS by which this truth is discovered. The testings and storms are HIS messengers, HIS servants to a deeper knowing of the blessed truth that HE IS OUR PRESENT HELP in every situation. May the God of all Grace lead us into the full assurance of faith that HE will never fail us in our time of need! May HIS FAITH welling up within our hearts cause us to step out of the boat to walk upon the storms of life, with our eyes fixed upon HIM knowing that HIS very name is FAITHFUL and TRUE.

“The LORD God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places”

HABAKKUK 3:15

Brian Troxel