Blog In Audio:
Well, we are now into 2023 and we are discovering the greatness, goodness, and mercy of God in new ways. We had a great day yesterday at Everyone’s church and a great zoom meeting over the weekend with the House of Bread Network.
This is a year of fresh appointments in Christ. It is a season of knowing who God is and knowing who we are in Christ. I am anticipating that another measure of our friendship with God is going to be made known to us in this new year.
This is also a year of partnership with God. That partnership is a partnership of knowing Him and Him knowing us, and then revealing who He is and who we are together to our world. We are not responsible to change the world, but we are responsible to be the light of Christ to our world. We have been sent to be light and salt in our world.
I recently published a new book, Friendship With God – The Empowerment of Honor and Grace. When we know that God is our friend, we become empowered to honor Him and to honor one another. When we know God as our friend, we become empowered by His grace – His manifest presence in our lives that changes us in life-giving ways. Today I want to post a segment from my book that challenges us to embrace being who we are meant to be in Christ for the sake of our world.
Jesus came to reestablish God’s name in our lives, so we will no longer take it in vain. His kingdom is a testimony of His character, nature, way, power, and authority manifest in all that we are and do. When we speak badly of ourselves or others, we are speaking badly of Him. When I speak badly of myself, I speak badly of you; and when I speak badly of you, I speak badly of me. I don’t possess my kingdom for my purposes in life and neither do you. Our kingdoms are kingdoms of our Lord and Christ because of the kingdom of heaven that is within our hearts.
God doesn’t want to tell us what to do or how to act. He doesn’t want to train us like parrots to simply say what He wants us to say or do what He tells us to do. He wants us to be like Him because we are of Him. He is our Father, and we are His children! Intimate friendship with God is at the core of our very being as members of His family. God’s name is our family name! He wants us to know that we are His praise! We are the excellence of His name in all that we are and do.
Praising God is not using the words, as we often say, “Praise God”. True praise is becoming the excellence of who we are meant to be for His glory. We are not just the worship of God; we are His purpose in the earth. We are His word. We are His name. We are His inheritance. We must not take it in vain. We must not forget who we are.
We must never do something that would be out of character for God and then blame Him. He is a covenant keeper, so we can’t break covenant and then tell people He told us to do it. We can’t do something that is not true to His character or exhibit something in our attitude or actions that is contrary to the way He is, and then blame the voice that motivates us as something inspired by God.
When believers do something that is not true to God’s character, they will often hear a voice and be convinced that it was God, but expressions of God are true to the character of who God is. We cannot ask illegitimate questions and expect to get legitimate answers. If we ask God a question that is not true to the character of who He is, we will hear an illegitimate answer. Illegitimate questions sound like: “God, do you want me to be unfaithful? God, do you want me to let a hater of the brothers into my house? God, do you want me to break covenant with my wife?”
Sometimes the questions are cloaked in a more deceptive way, but these kinds of questions are not questions that can be asked. They are not questions to ask, because these are not questions that God will answer. When we ask these kinds of questions, we will hear a voice, we will believe that we are justified, we will believe we are right and they are wrong, and we will believe that we deserve a break from our commitments and connections. The thought process for the answers we position ourselves to hear sounds like: “They’re not meeting my needs anyway”. What is God doing? These kinds of questions present the truth that we are willing to take God’s name in vain.
Knowing God as our friend, will inspire us to want to be like Him in our world. My two, soon to be three, year old granddaughter was at my house the other day. I said out loud as she was joyfully being herself in the living room, “What was the world without you in it?” She immediately responded with, “What was the world without me in it?” I want to propose to all of us today to embrace this attitude and then to embrace God as your friend and be empowered to shine to your world in the character, nature, way, power, and authority of who He is.
Ted J. Hanson
Donations can be made at the link on the home site of:
Checks can be made payable to House of Bread Ministry and sent to:
House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225
To avoid us paying a transaction fee from your donation, you can also set up a payment or an automatic payment from your bank to House of Bread Ministry. Just set it up as a ‘bill pay’ through your online bank account and your bank will mail a check to House of Bread Ministry. We will record your payment as a donation to House of Bread Ministry (E.I.N. 91-2009037) and we will send you a contribution receipt at the close of the year.
Our Ministry Information Is:
House of Bread Ministry
3210 Meridian St.
Bellingham, WA 98225-1728