I am now on my journey home after a great weekend in Manchester, England with Pastors Elijah and Haley Boswell and Impact Community Church. I had a few days in Northern Ireland with my good friends Stephen and Rita Walkden and got to meet with some lovely Irish believers who have hungry hearts for God. They want more of His presence. In Manchester we experienced a wonderful time as new believers dedicated families to walk God’s purpose and path. I met a young man who came to Christ the last time I was here and yesterday another lady accepted Christ in her heart after the morning message. Many people are being translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love. The goodness and love of God is rising in Oldham and the Manchester area. Thank you, Jesus! You truly are the Savior of all the world!
Today I am again addressing the ingredients of family relationships. We are the family of God and our lives are joined for God’s purpose but in the way of God’s intimate and relational love. Last week I stated that I believe that there are seven attributes of relationships for a family identity, testimony, and destiny. I believe those attributes are the bond and strength of a family relationship. They are: 1) commitment, 2) actions of faith, 3) responses, 4) authority connections (submission), 5) contribution, 6) sacrificial love (communion & community), and 7) dedication to destiny. So far, we have looked at the beginning, which is the level of commitment. Our commitment to God or to another person in a covenant community of Christ is based upon a revelation of love. Without a revelation of love our commitment is going to break when shaken. All relationships are shaken. All relationships experience shaking like an earthquake at times. The earthquake in a relationship is the temptation to take an offence when we experience something offensive in the relationship. We will be offended, but we must choose to stay in a place of love. We must choose to not take an offense when something offensive happens. If we become offended, we will forsake the place of love and we will be tempted to embrace making a judgment of some kind according to our natural experience and natural understanding in some way. Our actions will change toward the other partner or partners in the relationship. When we are offended by God, we make a judgment of God in our hearts according to what we see to be naturally true or what we think is naturally true. The result is a change in our actions towards God. It manifests as a change in our heart’s desire. Our attitude changes and the evidence is seen in how we act toward God. The same is true in our relationships with one another. When we take an offense, we make a judgment according to the flesh. We make a judgment according to what is naturally true or according to what we think is naturally true. We back off in our connection towards the other person. We are unable to make sacrifices of faith towards them because we see the sacrifice and not the liberty of love’s expression.
A revelation of love will motivate our hearts to believe we are committed to one another because our future is together. We do not see our future without one another. We don’t consider an option of disconnection, only an inspiration to move forward together. When we know our future is with another, we make faith inspired sacrifices towards that person. This is how it is in our relationship with God. We are empowered from within to do works of faith that demonstrate our hearts are with the one we love. This same principle is true in any covenant connected community expression of God. Relationships are empowered by God’s grace working in our lives. A commitment inspired by love will empower actions of love towards those we are in relationship with. The evidence is seen in our actions towards them. When we become offended with another person, we make judgments of them according to what is true naturally or according to what we think is naturally true. Natural truth and natural perceptions will produce the same result in that when it is connected to an area of offense it produces a judgment according to the flesh and not according to faith. Those judgments are birthed in the environment of fear, a fear of our own death in some way in the relationship. Our actions will become ones of judgment and will not be acts of love towards another. When we make a judgment of another, we then become defiled in the relationship. Rather than responding to the other partner we seek to isolate and separate from the relationship. We no longer see the need for a testimony as one and thus we seek to protect our own individual identity. The strength of relationship is always inspired by a revelation of love that empowers actions of love towards one another. This will lead us to a greater understanding of standing as two being one. It is the ability to see that our future is with another, our hearts are with them with external evidence of the actions of our lives, and our footsteps are as one as we respond to one another to become a greater testimony together than we could be apart.
Ted J. Hanson
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Thank You So Much – Ted J. Hanson