I am presently in Angola, Africa. We had a great leader’s gathering on Saturday. I was on the radio for an hour yesterday morning and released a word on New Covenant. It was a great time in the church yesterday with a full house of people and God’s presence. This week I will be teaching daily on New Covenant Ministry. I am expecting God to do great things.
In a culture of grace, we see Jesus. Grace comes at a revelation of Jesus Christ in our lives. When we see Jesus for who He is now, we become relevant to who we are supposed to be now. He brings salvation to our souls. We must embrace the change that comes to our desires, reasoning, thoughts, emotions, and imaginations. We must grow in the salvation of our souls. Our souls need the prosperity that comes by God’s grace. We need more thoughts, more reasoning, more emotions, more imaginations, and more desires. We need our souls to grow in the salvation of the Lord. This is a testimony of God’s grace working in our lives. This is the testimony of being maturing sons and daughters in Christ. We must be able to cry, to laugh, to have peace, and to experience life in all of life’s expressions. We must become happy and abundant in our hearts and minds. The attributes of our souls must be healthy. To the degree these things are healthy in us is the degree we will bring healthy life to the world. Salvation is the salvation of our souls. Our thoughts, reasoning, strategy, emotions, imaginations, and desires are brought to life by an abundance of God’s life in our spirits within. Our salvation includes going to heaven when we die, but there are many days between today and heaven. Salvation is bringing heaven into every day of our lives. God’s mercy forgives us for a lifestyle of hell, but God’s grace gets us out of a lifestyle of hell. Mercy justifies us to live, but grace empowers us to live. If our lifestyles don’t change and we still live like children of the world we have not discovered the power of God’s grace.
If we say that God loves us, but as children of God we don’t think we need to change, we end up redefining mercy as grace. We may go to heaven when we die, but we are going to create a lot of hell between here and heaven. Maybe we’ll be saved as one who escapes the flames, but everything in our lives will be ashes. There will be no gold, silver, or precious stone. Gold, silver, and precious stone are the testimony of Christ formed in the lives of others. Wood, hay, and straw are simply the things that we live for in this life. When we live empowered by grace we give life to others.
Grace is meant to empower me to become a father that allows the world, and even empowers my world, to be changed. God’s grace puts the character of God in the lives of people. It empowers children and children’s children to be different than before. We don’t live to please God because He is not pleased us. We live to please God because we know how pleased He is with us. If we don’t live to please God, we don’t really know how pleased He is with us. We don’t really know who God is in our lives. We substitute His pleasure for us with our pleasure for ourselves. If we know He is pleased with us, we ask the question; “God, how can I live to be pleasing to you? How can I be who you say I am? You don’t see my spots, blemishes or wrinkles. How can I live without spots blemishes or wrinkles to the world I live in. I don’t need to change so You will love me. I need to change so people will see how loving You are.”
We don’t need to change so God will love us. We need to embrace His grace that changes us so the world can see how powerful His love really is. Without Him we cannot change. With Him change is inevitable. When He walks into the room of our hearts and minds, everything changes.
Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
‘Because He loves you, I am praying you will walk a walk that is pleasing to Him. Because He loves you, because you are a child of God, I am praying you be fruitful for every good work. I am praying you will grow in knowing who He is. I want you to be fathers. I pray you will be strengthened with all might by His glorious power.’ Paul was praying for the grace of God to work in them. God’s grace activates a cheerful endurance that transforms human character and manifests hope. Paul was praying for the One in them to empower their patience and long suffering with joy. Not with misery. With the evidence of His manifest presence. In the presence of the Lord is joy forever, inexpressible and full of glory. Paul was paying for the might inside of them. That might is the power of God’s grace that brings all through. He was giving thanks to the Father, because He has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He is the one who delivered us from the power of darkness. This is grace!
Grace is the testimony. Mercy declares you can be delivered. He loves you even if you are not delivered. Grace says that because you can be delivered, here He is and He is delivering you! He is delivering you from the power of darkness because you have been conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of His love. This is not some day in the future. It is today, tomorrow, the next day and even beyond the life as you know it. It is because we have redemption by His blood and the forgiveness of sins. Because of His great mercy, we have been given the power of His amazing grace. We can finally become real. I can finally become Bonnie’s husband. Not just a husband, but Bonnie’s Husband. I can become Jonathan’s dad, not just a dad, but Jonathan’s dad. I can become Aaron’s dad. I can become Joanna’s dad. I can become Aubrey’s grandpa, London’s grandpa, Kaden’s grandpa, and Zaria’s grandpa. Not just a grandpa. Because of God’s grace I can become your friend, not just a friend, but your friend. To be real requires the grace of God. My thinking has to change. My thoughts, strategies, imagination, emotions, and desires have to change. I have to become the real me. Grace makes me the real me.
Ted J. Hanson