Blog In Audio:
It’s been another week and it appears that fall has arrived in the Northwest. The beginning of rainy days is welcomed considering all the fires that have been on the West coast. With changes of seasons comes changes in our world. The same is true in the spirit. The change of season brings another measure in the change that comes by heaven’s grace.
God wants us to become expressions of His community influencing the communities of the earth. This is the testimony of the city of God and the life-giving river whose streams make it glad. Being a city of God is the fruit of being the people of God. Being the people of God is the fruit of being a people of God’s presence, praise, and purpose in all things. We are called to be a part in the manifest presence of God in the earth. This is the source of our true identity. Our identity is seen as a measure of God’s life in human form. The praise of our lives is the excellence of who we are as an expression of God in life. Our part contributes to the full part of being a family of inheritance for our Father’s name. The purpose of our lives is seen in the demonstration of the power of the life of Christ made known through us that brings life to our world.
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
What is it that empowers us to live as a pillar in the temple of God? What is it that empowers us to live for the Father and for the city of God in all things? Does God control these things or is there something of a freewill offering on our part. Many people believe that God is God because of His sovereignty. I believe that He is sovereign, but I also believe that He has chosen not to exercise His sovereignty in order to reveal a greater power of life in who He is. His sovereignty serves who He is, He does not serve His sovereignty. I believe that He is love, not merely someone who loves. I believe that He is good, and He loves people (Jn. 3:16). I believe that He can be all-powerful, but I believe that He gave us a free will and that free will demonstrates His love for us. He is not looking for slaves or puppets. He doesn’t merely want people to serve Him. He wants people to know that He loves them. Our own traditions can make God’s word of no effect in our lives (Mt. 15:6). It is only when people know that God loves them that they in turn live to love Him and to love others.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38, 39 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.
1 John 4:9, 10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God wants us to know first and foremost that He loves people. He loves us! If we don’t see Him through the eyes of love we will present Him as something less than love to us and others in our world. When we see God through the eyes of love we become the people of God with a lifestyle of love. Love is more powerful than control. It is more powerful than restraint in any measure. Love is the testimony that triumphs over all offence. It is love that holds us to truth, not truth that holds us to love. As the people of God, we are becoming a people of love that freely give our wills to God and for God in all things because He as love has chosen to make our free wills stronger than His sovereignty. The community of God is a city that freely gives their lives in love to God and to one another in all things. This makes intimacy stronger than knowledge. It makes forgiveness stronger than being right. It makes humility, confession, and a willingness to change more powerful than the judgments of pride, fairness, unfairness, and any stronghold of self. It is not God’s sovereignty of power that makes us the people of God. It is His testimony of love.
Ted J. Hanson
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