Quote for Today – Ulrich Zwingli

Quote for Today

“Our confidence in Christ does not make us lazy, negligent, or careless, but on the contrary it awakens us, urges us on, and makes us active in living righteous lives and doing good. There is no self-confidence to compare with this”
– Huldrych Zwingli

The Eternal Question

Thought for Today

The Eternal question

Christ seen through the eyes of the philosopher,
     view Him through the opinions of men.
Christ seen through the eyes of a Christian believer,
     view Him as a teacher or teaching.
Christ seen through the eyes of a disciple,
     view Him as Lord and Master.

To the philosopher,
     a point of curiosity.
To the believer,
     a word to believe.
To the disciple,
     a word to obey.

“But whom say ye that I am?”

Matthew 16:15

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Julian of Norwich

Quote for Today

 

“He [Jesus] did not say, ‘You will never have a rough passage, you will never be over-strained, you will never feel uncomfortable,’ but he did say, ‘You will never be overcome”
– Julian of Norwich

Go Up! – A New Generation

A New Generation

Go Up!

“Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee:
go up and possess it,
as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee;
fear not, neither be discouraged”
Deuteronomy 1:21

The word of the Lord to Joshua was spoken to offset the fear and the discouragement of God’s people after forty years of seemingly pointless wandering in the wilderness. While a faithless generation passed away, God was speaking faith and encouragement to a new generation. It was a time of change; a New Day. The call of God to possess the promises given had fallen to a New Generation and within those promises lay new responsibilities for them to dispossess their enemies. So it is in our day. There is an exhortation for us to “Go Up” into the things of God.

His Word is spoken for those who will hear to rise up and leave the aimless wandering in the wilderness of powerless words; of a gospel that has been without direction and purpose, and an endless promotion of strategies and self-seeking men.

“Go Up” is spoken to a new generation. “Go Up” is God’s Word to those hearts whom the paltry offerings of empty words can no longer satisfy. There is a generation who find complacency in words, teachings and doctrinal concepts but there is also a generation who cannot find rest apart from the wonder of HIS Life within. The one generation must arise out of the complacency of the other.

Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life
are filled with the pulsating power of the Lamb’s Life.

Let us hear His Word afresh. May we feel the drawings of His Spirit to deeper things, higher things and living things. Let the “Go Up” of God bring a new seeking of Him who makes “all things new”!

“Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth…”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Quote for Today

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“Get your texts from God – your thoughts, your words, from God… It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God’s Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin”
– Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Thought for Today – The Power of Hope

Thought for Today

The Power of HOPE

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful”
HEBREWS 10:23

Hope is the ability to see through the darkness and to know that beyond the thin veil of this present world (which is passing away) there is an eternal city shining with the Glory of our God. Its citizens have already passed through great trial and temptation and are watching our progress with great anticipation for us to complete that which God began with them* (Hebrews 11:39-12:1). We read of Abraham who lived in a strange country sustained by hope; “for he LOOKED for a City whose builder and maker is God”. We see Moses who endured great trials for 40 years because he saw Him who is invisible! We read of the lives of those who made a difference in their day not because they were strong but because their God was strong on their behalf. This present day of small things will and must give way to the dawning of His Life within His own who feel the pulse of His Hope and His purposes. It is in such a time as this that those who long for more of God, who thirst for more than just another Sunday sermon, will know within their hearts that God has something greater than what we see today.

“And thou shalt be secure,
because there is hope”
Job 11:18

Brian Troxel

 

The Struggle and the Crown

The Struggle and the Crown

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed”
Romans 4:16

The Struggle

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:22 – 25

Within the life of every true believer is the struggle between two natures; two ways of living, two sets of desires and two eternal consequences.  The conflict is between the first Adam and the Last Adam, the first Adam being that nature which is earthly and sensual and the second Adam being the heavenly man, the Eternal Son of Man. We see the very portrayal of this within the womb of Rebekah as she by faith brought forth the one who would become Israel in the purposes and dealings of our great God.

Esau was the firstborn, a man of passions, wild and undisciplined.  He was of the earth, earthly and devoid of any real love of spiritual things.  He was born first, bearing the likeness of the first Adam, which in the Hebrew means “red earth”.  At his birth the scriptures take great care to describe his appearance (See The Things of Esau).

“And the first came out red*(see note below),
all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau”

Genesis 25:25

Jacob, though a schemer and a conniver, had one thing that set him apart.  He had respect for the things of God.  The birthright, which was rightfully Esau’s by virtue of being the first born, meant little to Esau and he surrendered it for  a mere mess of pottage in a moment of extreme hunger.  Jacob, on the other hand, coveted this blessing.  Jacob was the son of promise, a man called to become the Israel of God, not by strength, nor by might but by the mercy and strength of our God.

These two distinct “manner of people” struggled within the womb of Rebekah, yet the promise was THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.  Jacob’s journey of faith to become Israel was one of many dealings and breakings in the hands of a determined and merciful God.  The promise of God tarries until the man Jacob is broken.  It is in our submission to His dealings that we become the people upon whom the promise falls.

“The Lord sent a word into Jacob,
and it hath lighted upon Israel”

Isaiah 9:8

The promise to Jacob was a sure thing but the severity of the dealings of God and the determination of God is what made the promise sure.  The man Jacob must become the worm that he might indeed become strong.

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14 – 15

We must see that the inabilities in our life to do God’s will are the result of our strengths not our weaknesses. When we speak of weakness we are speaking of all that has not been brought into submission to the Son; in whatever measure we have known the fellowship of His sufferings there is a corresponding experience of His resurrection life.

“That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain
unto the resurrection of the dead”

Philippians 3:10 – 11

Let us realize that the struggle within is a struggle that is to be unto life and glory; HIS LIFE and HIS GLORY.  The struggle of Rebekah is prophetic of all that we must know within ourselves.  Jacob will remain Jacob until he is broken.  We too will remain barren unless we discover the wonder and the power of HIS faith in our lives.  A faith like gold submitted to the fire is purified and fit for the master’s use.  Teachings will not produce this life; only a broken and surrendered will in the hands of the God of Jacob!  This is not a day to tarry but it is a day for us to “press toward the mark, for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

Let our confidence be not in ourselves, our knowledge or our associations.  Rather let our confidence be in the God of Jacob who was able to bring forth a PRINCE* (see note below) from the worm and who is able to complete that which He began in us.  The beauty of Jacob’s heart was clearly revealed at Peniel as we see Jacob clinging to the ONE who wounded him for in that place we see and hear God’s declaration…

The Crown

“Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel:
for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men,
and hast prevailed”

Genesis 32:28

* אַדְמֹנִי ʼaḏmōniy, אַדְמוֹנִי ʼaḏmôniy: An adjective meaning red, ruddy. from the Hebrew Word ADAM
*Israel – Prince with God

A Partial reprint of a former post.
A relevant reminder for us to stay the course in Christ

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

“That which of all things unfits man for the reception of Christ as a Saviour, is not gross profligacy and outward, vehement transgression, but it is self-complacency, fatal self-righteousness and self-sufficiency”
– Alexander MacLaren

Meditative Moment

Meditative Moment

 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Dwelling in God’s presence is ever the result of His goodness and mercy following us as we follow the Great Shepherd of our souls. His goodness dwells where His mercy reigns! Quietness and confidence is the atmosphere of God’s presence.

“…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…”
Isaiah 30:15

Brian Troxel

An Exegesis of Light – Excerpt From Coming Book (4)

An Exegesis of light

Chapter 4
(excerpt)

The Division of Light from Darkness

“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:17

We now come to another very important aspect of the work of God especially as it relates to our day: the separation of THE LIGHT from THE DARKNESS. Notice the article “THE”. This is not only speaking of a light but The Light; and it is not just a darkness but The Darkness. Even here we read prophetic declarations of this final Day. The Devil has no power against The Light of God. The Light defeats all of the stratagems and power of the Devil. By nature, he hates the light and everyone who is of the light. His only hope of victory is by attempting to diffuse the light, by introducing darkness, and mingling the two. The purer the light, the more the power of God is released. The purer the light by which one walks in God, the greater the ability of that one to see, hear and know God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8

It is to this end that the enemy of our souls works incessantly to mix darkness into the light of the Word of God and the hearts of God’s people. The enemy’s strategy is clear as he converses with Eve in the Garden of God. “Has God not said…” The tone is one of creating doubt. The choice of words is selective so as to present God in a less majestic manner. In presenting the question to Eve, he uses Elohim rather than Jehovah or YHWH. Elohim, though a name of God in the scriptures, can also be used for idols and is often translated as “gods”. It was a calculated tactic of Satan to lessen the impact of God’s Holiness upon Eve’s conscience. The simple and seemingly innocent question was designed to cause Eve to come to a conclusion based upon her own independence and contrary to God’s direct command. Eve now replies to the Devil by quoting God’s Word but the quoting is now weakened. Her place of standing moves from the light of Day into the darkness of independence and self. In view of her response the Devil moves from a seemingly sincere question into an outright attack upon the verity of God’s Word. “You shall surely not die…” He takes it even further with an additional assault of an evil thought which subverts God’s motive in giving the Word.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:5

Not only does he now openly slander God, but he also very slyly presents the promise of her own advancement in life. As Eve begins to come to her own conclusions (from which God has been marginalized) her own self has been magnified to the point of supposing to become like God through self-effort and independence. The rest we know is history. We read these things and our initial reaction may be one of “Where was God while this was going on? Why did he not intervene?” The answer is very simple and one of profound import. The higher the creation, the greater is the capacity of free will. God has created us for fellowship, friendship, and companionship. For all of these reasons it is necessary that we move and commune with Him freely as holy individuals on the basis of personal choice. Eve had to be tested as to whether she was going to “grasp” at becoming like Him through independence, or through obedience and submission to Him and His goodness. Relationship must involve the mingling and sharing between two or more individuals.

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
Amos 3:3

This is the fundamental law of relationship and the very reason that God created man with the ability to choose to exercise his will in compliance with God’s way. In the crucible of the moment Eve chose the way of self-effort which brought her and Adam and the whole human race into the darkness and the lie of the Devil.

God was not taken by surprise by this course of action. In getting to know Him we realize that “fruit” is never created; it must be formed (Galatians 4:19). Fruit is revealed by the very nature of the life which produces it. We read in the New Testament that Jesus was “a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). The offering and the answer to Eve’s choice existed from beyond the reaches of time in the wisdom and foreordained council of God. Some ponder the ramifications of this and come to the conclusion that God must then have created evil. The fallacy of this notion is quickly put to rest by realizing that God is incapable of doing or creating moral evil.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.”
James 1:16-17

If God did not create evil, then how did evil come into being? Satan (formerly called Lucifer), was one of the highest creations in the heavenly order of God’s Domain and as such, he possessed a certain freedom of will as well as incredible power and wisdom. The very declaration “I will ascend; I will exalt my throne…” are all statements of a free will making choices (see scripture below). The scriptures reveal that at some point he began to desire the throne of God for himself…

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”
Isaiah 14:12-14

Just as darkness is simply the absence of light, evil is the absence of good. Reverting back to John 8:44 Jesus in speaking of the Devil states:

“…when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:44

In other words, the devil is the father and initiator of THE LIE. He is the one who through self-will, blind ambition and self-seeking gave birth to the darkness and LIE (he fathered it). In his rage and blindness, he introduces to Eve the very LIE which was and is his own undoing. It is for this reason that we have two seeds in the earth: God’s seed and the Devil’s.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

Those who seek preeminence in the world and in the church through the motives of self-will and pride will be judged in the same light. Worthy is the Lamb of God who has delivered and is delivering us from such a horrific fate! He has come to bring forth purity of motive in our lives with submissive hearts to the doing of His will.

It is worth noting here that in the above mentioned scripture God was the one who put enmity between the seeds. Yet in many of today’s religious circles the church is trying so hard eliminate this enmity by becoming like the world. They seek the approval of men; they want to present a friendly and inviting atmosphere where the people of the world can feel comfortable thereby mingling the light of God with the darkness of the world.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
James 4:4

The above scripture is written within the context of unanswered prayers amidst division and strife. Surely it is a day to repent and turn from our ways that we may find grace in this hour to be vessels of light in a day of great darkness!

This compromising “gospel” is a product of the LIE; a result of mingling light with darkness; a dimming of the grace of God wherein men and women no longer feel the anguish of living outside of the light and power of God. They are no longer presented with God’s Holiness. They can come to “church” without sensing the Holy Presence of God nor the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The early church met in God’s presence to such an extent that the unbeliever cried out “surely God is in your midst” (1 Corinthians 14:25) The contrast between then and now is poignant. The Word of God is declared often without seeing any change in those who hear. Mixture and the doctrines of men rob God’s Word of its power and purpose.

“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
Mark 7:9-13

Herein lies the deception and horror of our present day. We reject the Word of God so that we can keep our own teachings and holding to the methods of men rather than walking in the pure wisdom of God. The response to those who question these methods is “well that is how we do it now”. No wonder our ways continue to bear the fruits of lukewarm living and halfhearted faith! The very purpose of the five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13) is to establish God’s people in His ways to the intent that we all come into the unity of the faith; a people who can no longer be swayed by the hypocrisy and mixture of the teachings of men.

“So that we may be no longer children, sent this way and that, turned about by every wind of teaching, by the twisting and tricks of men, by the deceits of error…”
Ephesians 4:14, BBE

God hates mixture. He hates lukewarm hearts, He hates tepid prayers and hypocrisy. We see from Genesis to Revelation that God’s word to His people is always dispensed in order to bring forth a separated and holy people. We must be ever vigilant to watch objectively over the affairs and issues of our own hearts.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”
Revelation 3:16

(continued)

Brian Troxel