The Father’s House – A House of Goodness!

   Greetings,

Last week I presented the story of the father and two sons as an example of attributes found in the rooms of our Father’s house. Each of us wears the best testimony, walks in the best inheritance, gives life as the best authority, and eats the food of the best will of God in life. It is about being ourselves and realizing that who we are reveals who God is in this world. We ae to live life with Him in all things. He doesn’t want us to prove ourselves, He simply wants to live with us in all things. He gives us life, breath, and all things and knowing Him makes our lives a celebration of who we are as His family in the earth. It is about a relationship with Him in all things and He having a relationship with us in all things.

When the careless son returned home to his father, he discovered who the father really was. In the story of the father and the two sons, the father demonstrated who he was to the sons. The father’s house was filled with the atmosphere of mercy and forgiveness. The father’s house was filled with genuine care and love. The father’s house was filled the sound of music and dancing, not one of shame or ‘I told you so’ innuendoes.

If we continue to read this story we find that there was also the older son. He appeared to be the faithful son of the house. While the younger son exhibited the testimony of a Gentile, someone who didn’t seek a covenant relationship, the older son exhibited the attributes of a Jew. The oldest son acted like a legalistic Pharisee. He did not rejoice in the celebration of his brother’s return. He was more concerned with what he thought was right than he was in understanding the character of his father. He missed the point of the family. He failed to understand that the family was a house of relationship and love not a house of law and a justice system of who is right and who is wrong. The father’s justice system was one of love.

Luke 15:25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ”

The older son’s view of his father was to do what needed to be done. He saw serving his father as a means of being right and earning the father’s approval. His view was to do what he was told to do. He never expected the Father to be a giver, so he never saw who the Father really was. Because he never saw who his father really was, he existed in the same family, but he never experienced the father’s house. He never saw his father as a dad of love. He distanced himself from his father and only worked in the things that belonged to his father. He never saw relationship with his father as the main point in life. He didn’t realize that all that was the fathers was already his.

While the younger son sought to prove himself, live for himself, gratify himself and satisfy himself; the older son saw life as working for father’s favor, doing what he thought his father needed to be done, and obeying what his father told him to do. This is the way it is when we embrace a justice system of the knowledge of good and evil in our relationship with God. We fail to see who God really is, because we become confused by what we think He is.

This story reveals to us a truth as to the nature of our heavenly Father. He is in heaven, but He wants to abide with us in all things in our lives each day in this earth. All that we are and all that we have are simply rooms in the Father’s house. The Father’s house is one of a Father, sons, and brothers. In the Father’s house, it is right to show mercy. It is right to celebrate forgiveness. It is right to celebrate redemption and restoration. It is right to live with a heart of love and concern for others. It is right for goodness and mercy to follow every family member in every room of the Father’s house.

Psalms 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Father, give each of a revelation of who You are. Help us to realize that in Your house are many rooms and that You live in every room. You don’t just own each room, You desire to live with us in each room of life. Your heart is love and Your ways are ways of love. You desire us more than You desire our destinies. Help us to see You for who You really are and give us the grace to want You more than anything of You. We are Your sons and daughters and it is time to live life with You!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you so much to those of you who have been able to contribute to our cause. In this past month I have been in the Netherlands, Ireland, Wales, England, Spain, and again in England. This week I head to Bulgaria and after that I will be in Luxembourg. Without your prayers and support we are limited in our ability to do our part in the place of our calling in Christ. If God blesses you to bless us, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

A Sample of Portuguese Projects:

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Finding His Place In Your Place

   Greetings,

In our Father’s house, there are many spacious places. I don’t believe that those places are just in heaven. I believe that they are heavenly places in us. They are both a heavenly place in this life and a place of life in heaven beyond where we live today. In both cases, those spacious places are a place where Jesus lives with us and we live with Him. They are places of relationship and abiding with one another. As leaders in the body of Christ we must lead others to discover the place of Christ’s abiding in their lives. To do this, we must be an example of this ourselves so that others can be inspired and follow us in discovering their measure of the Father’s dwelling place in their lives.

John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

I have been addressing what rooms in the Father’s house are like. When we are in the Father’s house we can recognize it by the atmosphere, the ambiance, and the attributes of the room. It is His house and our room in His house and in it we find Him. In it we also find who each of us are meant to be for the glory of Him and for the family name.

In the book of Luke, we find a story of what is often called The Prodigal Son. It is really a story about a father and two sons. You can find the story in Luke 15:11-31.

The prodigal son was the youngest son. He took the boundary and the measure given to him by the father and ventured on a journey of independence. You could say, he ventured on a journey to find himself in life. He wanted to live his own dream. He wanted to do things his own way. He wanted to find life on his own. In this story, this youngest son sought to prove himself, live for himself, gratify himself, and satisfy himself. He was reckless, extravagant, and a consumer in his ways. As a result, he lost everything. The youngest son had a revelation of his failure, but he still did not have a revelation of who his father really was. He found himself feeding pigs, a job that was far below the character of what he had thought was his family heritage. He even considered the pigs to be in a better state of being than himself. He realized that the food the pigs were eating was more than what he could earn for himself. He reasoned in his mind that it would be best to return to his father’s house, but not as a son. He sought to return home and become a hired hand in the employment of his dad. He began his journey to his father’s house that he might find a place of serving, but he did not expect to find a place of love.

In the story, the father had been waiting every day at the edge of the road looking for his youngest son to return. He never sought to oppose his will upon his son, he was expectantly waiting for the return of his son one day. Then one day he saw his son from afar off. He didn’t know if his son had been a success or a failure. He didn’t know if he was married or single. He didn’t know if he was straight or gay. He didn’t know what state of being his son was in, he simply wanted his son to find his room in the father’s house. That room was a place of the father and the son abiding together in all things.

Luke 15:20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

In the father’s house was the father’s best robe and it was ready for the son. That robe was not the outer garment of the son, but of the father. It was a symbol of a personal testimony that reveals the father’s glory. It was the father’s good pleasure to clothe the son in the testimony of his name. It didn’t matter that the son had lost his own coat, he had always been destined to wear the testimony of the family name, the father’s testimony. In the father’s house was the father’s ring. The ring was not the son’s ring, it was the father’s. It was a symbol of the authority of the father and it was also the authority of the son. It was his ability to bring the life of the father’s house to the world. It didn’t matter that the son had lost his ring, he was destined to wear the father’s ring. He was always intended to be a part of the authority of the father’s family name. In the father’s house was the father’s sandals. They were not the son’s sandals. The sandals were a symbol of the father’s inheritance. That inheritance was the measure given to the son that would be a testimony of the father’s inheritance in the world. It didn’t matter that the son had lost his sandals, he was destined to walk in the inheritance of the father for the glory of the father’s house, the family name. The father ordered the feast of the fatted calf. The fatted calf was the father’s best food and it symbolizes the will of the father, as Jesus had said his food was to do the will of His Father. The son was always destined to eat the father’s best food, the will of the father in the son’s life. The hope of the calling belonged to the family. The riches of the inheritance belonged to the family,  the power of authority was one of the family name, and the will of the father was the destiny of every member of the father’s house. These things are all attributes of a room in the Father’s house.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you so much to those of you who have been able to contribute to our cause. In this past month I have been in the Netherlands, Ireland, Wales, England, Spain, and again in England. This week I head to Bulgaria and after that I will be in Luxembourg. Without your prayers and support we are limited in our ability to do our part in the place of our calling in Christ. If God blesses you to bless us, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

A Sample of Portuguese Projects:

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His Life in Your Measure and Your Boundary

   Greetings;

I am writing today again regarding living in, and being leaders in, the Father’s house. God has given to each of us a boundary and a measure of rule and influence in life. We are responsible with what God has given to each of us. Who we are and what we do in life is to be part of the calling of Christ, the inheritance of God, and a demonstration of the power of God to the world.

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their reappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.

We were not born to worship God, we were born to be loved by Him. God is a giver, not a taker. He gives life, He gives breath, and He gives all things. He doesn’t need anything from us, He just wants to be Himself with us in all that we are and all that we have been given in life. When we allow God to be who He is, He gives us all that we need to be who we are because of Him. He makes us come alive, we become expressions of Him, and all that we do in life becomes a partnership with Him to give life to our sphere of influence in this world. God has given each of a measure of time and a measure of boundary. Time is given to us that requires us to find Him to know what to do with it. Boundaries have been given to each of us that require us to find Him to know how to fulfill our commission in life. He expects each of us to find His presence within the measurement of time and the boundaries of the influence of our lives. God is not far from any of us, but near to each of us. He is our Father and we are His children. As leaders, we must lead with an example in our own time and boundary given to us by God and we are to inspire those we lead to do the same.

To know who, He is and who we are we must see Him for who He is and ourselves for who we are. We are His family. God has overlooked our ignorance in times past, but now He commands us to repent. That repentance is not a repentance from being evil, but a repentance from being dead. He desires that each find Him, live with Him, and that we receive all that He gives to be alive!

Acts 17:29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent…

If God is a taker, repentance is denied as a measure of death and sacrifice on our part. If God is a giver, repentance is a measure of grace given to us by God so we can receive the life, the breath, and the all things that God wants to give to us. The testimony of true repentance is that we become alive because of Him, we become an expression of Him in a life-giving way, and all that we do in life releases the life-giving authority of God to the world that has been given to us. True repentance is not something we can do in the flesh. It is a gift given to us by God in Christ. It is the testimony of God in our lives. Christ in us becomes the hope of glory. God has made a way for each one of us to come alive in Him and to give life the world given to us. Our days in this earth become a measure to be life and our boundaries become the sphere of life-giving influence to all that has been given to us. This especially includes the people that God joins us to in life.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you so much to those who have risen to the challenge of helping House of Bread fulfill the call to be a resource and equipping ministry to the body of Christ. If you have not yet been able to offer your support, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

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A Life-Giving House

     Greetings,

As leaders in the body of Christ we must be testimonies of Christ, embrace the anointing of Christ, and lead others into the purpose of Christ to become the same. Each of us are a place where Christ abides when we embrace His presence in our lives. Without the testimony of Christ, the anointing of Christ, and the purpose of Christ we are missing the very reason for Christ in all things. Every room in the Father’s house is filled with Christ. Jesus has a prepared place for each one where He manifests His presence for increasing glory.

John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Last week I presented that a room in the Father’s house reveals that God exceeds the limited expectations and understandings of men. If everything in our lives can be explained by our own understanding we are not living in the full boundaries of a room in the Father’s house. If we understand everything in the boundaries of our hearts, minds, and lives we are probably living in our room, but not His. He is beyond our understanding and there should be increasing questions of expectation of who He is arising in our hearts, minds, and lives. What are some other attributes of a room in the Father’s house?

Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

God does not need anything from us. He is the One who gives, not the One who takes from us. He gives us life, breath, and all things. He doesn’t need anything from anyone, thus He doesn’t seek to take anything from anyone. Even when He tells us to lose our lives it is only so we can finally find our lives in Him. Every room in the Father’s house exhibits an atmosphere of life and the giving of life. I used to think that we were created to worship God, but I have come to believe that God doesn’t need us to worship Him. I believe we need to worship God for our sake, not His. We were born to be loved by Him and having been loved by Him we can’t help but worship Him. We are inspired in our hearts to worship Him. He has never desired for us to worship Him because of some commandment of the law. The law as a shadow of the good thing to come, it was not a substitute for the good thing (Heb. 10:1). The good thing is Christ in us. The good thing is God living in us and with us in all things. It is us living with Him and He is living with us as a testimony of the Father’s house in this world and into eternity. The atmosphere of the room is one of life and the giving of live. In a room in the Father’s house we receive life and we also become empowered and inspired to give life to others. This is the nature of our heavenly Father.

God is the ‘I Am’, not an ‘I Do’. The works of God in our lives are not enough to satisfy, change, or empower us into life. Only God in our lives can do these things. He is good at being Himself and when He is who He is, life happens! If life is not happening in the room, the room is some-how absent His presence. Wherever God is life happens. When God is in our lives we become an expression of Him. He gives us breath. He is the word, but we are voice. He is the paint, we are the painting. He is the words, but we are His poem. He is the rhythm, and we are the dance. We become expressions of Him when He is in the room. God also gives us all things. He is interested in causing us to become and to do all that expresses the authority of who we are in life. The place that God has prepared for us will cause us to come alive in Him, but that life will be a giving life. It will inspire us to give life to others and to put the emphasis of our hearts and minds upon that cause. It won’t be about what we can become, what we can be, or what we can get. It will be seen in the inspiration of our hearts and minds to give live to others. Every room in the Father’s house makes us come alive and empowers us to give life to others. It is not a place of personal fulfillment, or personal desire, but a place of Christ fulfillment and Christ desire. The atmosphere of the room is one of giving, not getting!

We must not confuse getting life and becoming givers of life. The wisdom of God is not a self-seeking wisdom. It is a wisdom that is willing to yield for the sake of others. It seeks to give life, not to get life. When Christ is in the house, the house comes alive, but those within the room become givers of life to the world. The one in the house is more important than the room. The room is a place of His presence, and the room becomes filled with His testimony, His anointing, and His purpose. He gives life to us and it inspires us to be givers of life to others. It is more about life than it is about power. It is more about life than it is about anointing. It is more about life than it is about getting blessings. It is more about life and life is the testimony of love!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you so much to those who have risen to the challenge of helping House of Bread fulfill the call to be a resource and equipping ministry to the body of Christ. If you have not yet been able to offer your support, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

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The Father’s House

    Greetings;

As leaders in the body of Christ we must know that we lead for the Father’s house. We don’t lead for our own ministries. The kingdom of God is an internal kingdom and it is only the internal kingdom of God that transforms individuals. The exterior expressions of human lives are only truly made known by the transformation of hearts and minds. Righteousness, peace, and joy are attributes of internal relationship with God in the human heart by the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is in the place of the heart that the true house of God is discovered.

John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

I believe that this Scripture is not just about a place beyond this world after we die. I believe it is about a place in this lifetime, and beyond this lifetime, that is beyond this world. The word mansion is the Greek word μονή monē (G3438). It means, a staying, i.e. residence (the act or the place). It comes from the Greek verb μένω menō (G3306) meaning, to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy). Each, and every person has a place prepared by God where they can abide with the presence of Jesus by the Spirit. It is a place of relationship, a place of expectancy, a state of being with Him, and even a state of being because of Him. It is not just a place where Jesus comes into our lives, but where we enter the fullness of life within Him. It is a room in the Father’s house. Each of us has a pre-appointed time and a pre-appointed boundary in this life and it is important that we allow Jesus to come there and receive us to Himself in the journey of life.

God dwells in a temple of human hearts and human lives. He doesn’t dwell in anything made by human hands. We cannot prepare a place for Him to dwell, we must find the place that He has prepared for us where we can experience the fullness of His dwelling. As leaders, we must discover this place in our own lives and we must lead others to find their own pre-appointed time and boundary in life. The time given to each of us, and the boundary given to each of us, is a spacious room in the Father’s house. Each man and woman has been given a measure of time. What, and who, will fill it? Each man and woman has been given a measure of rule. What, and who, will fill its sphere of influence?

When the apostle Paul came to the city of Athens in Greece he pointed to the identity of what a room in the Father’s house appears to be. Every person in life is motivated by an internal desire to discover their room in the Father’s house. It is a place of life and it is from that place that life is meant to happen. It is not a religious place of bondage and death, but a place of life and peace in Christ.

When Paul entered the city of Athens he was provoked in his Spirit when he observed the idolatrous attributes among the people. His provocation was not against people, but against the things that were destroying their perception of who God truly is.

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

It became evident that Paul’s anger was not against people when he was called before the Areopagus on Mars Hill. His words were not words of condemnation for people, but words that pointed to the place of life in the midst of their searching. Paul’s anger was an anger of the Spirit and it was against the things that seek to control and destroy the lives and destinies of men. Paul did not condemn the people of Athens for their places of idolatry. He simply presented to them that they were religious. He pointed out that they were searching for answers. They were looking for life. Paul then presented an obvious attribute of a room in the Father’s house. He told them they had already experienced that God of resurrection life. He was the one they knew to be, but they could not understand.

Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

Paul was directing the attention of the leaders of the city of Athens to the room in place in their city that revealed the goodness of God. He is the one that cannot be understood by the limitations of self-seeking, self-gratifying, or self-sustaining minds. He is beyond our understanding. He is good! The atmosphere of any room in the Father’s house exceeds the limited expectations and understandings of men. If everything in our lives can be explained by our own understanding we are not living in the full boundaries of a room in the Father’s house.

Consider a first attribute of the Father’s house. He is beyond our understanding and that is ok. If you understand everything within the boundaries of your life, you might not be in a room of the Father’s house.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you so much to those who have risen tot he challenge of helping House of Bread fulfill the call to be a resource and equipping ministry to the body of Christ. If you have not yet been able to offer your support, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

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Remember the Commission

  Greetings;

God wants all people to know that they are a blessing in this earth. Each person was born to be loved by God as the blessed of God in the earth. Because we are blessed by God we are also the blessing of God in this world. It doesn’t matter where we find ourselves, as long as we find ourselves in our world. We can bring life and change to our world, but we cannot do that if we seek to live in someone else’s world. Life is not fair, it is simply life! As leaders, we must know who we are and live to be a blessing to the world that has been given to us. When we do this, we inspire those we lead to do the same.

Leadership is about multiplication, not addition. We do not lead people to add them to our cause. We lead to further the cause of Christ in the lives of people. There is always a greater corporate purpose to our divine connections in life, but our connections are made of individual members that each contribute in their own unique way to the testimony of Christ. We lead to give greater value to others. When we do this, we inspire the next generation to do the same.

The second thing that God told Abraham was that in multiplying He would multiply Him. The Hebrew writing of this is also a double word for multiplying. It is the word for multiply written twice. This is not just God really multiplying those who believe Him, but those who believe Him living to multiply. It involves the actions of those who believe God. When we believe that we are blessed, we live to multiply. This is not living to add things to our own lives, but living to give our own lives for the sake of others. The actions of our lives must be to give and release life to others in this world. As New Covenant leaders, we must lead to inspire others to seek to multiply who they are in the lives of others. This is the second part of the good news preached to Abraham. Giving value to others is more important than living to be valuable in some ministry cause of our lives. We must be willing to be who we are for the sake of others becoming who they are in Christ.

The third thing that God told Abraham was that his descendants would possess the gates of their enemies. Gates are the places of influence in the earth. They are the powers that affect the minds and hearts of the generations of men. When we know that we are a blessing we live to multiply in the lives of others. When we live to multiply in the lives of others we live for those beyond our own lives. We live for our children and for our children’s children. I call this a 100-year plan. God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel. God is the God of Paul, Timothy, faithful men, and others also. He is a generational God and we can expect that the inheritance beyond us is a greater power than what we live in today. The good news preached to Abraham was that the generations of men would destroy the powers of the enemy. The power of God’s inheritance in the earth is greater than the disinheriting powers of the enemy! The imaginations of our hearts and the actions of our hands must be to release the inheritance and the power of life to our children and our children’s children. The gates of Hades (the realm of the dead) cannot prevail against the advancing family of God in the earth. As leaders in the New Covenant we must lead in a way that inspires others to live for their children and their children’s children in the earth.

The fourth thing that God told Abraham was that through his Seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. This is the transforming power of God’s influence to all the nations of the world. The good news given to Abraham was that the influence of God through the generations of men in Christ would know no limit! It was the power of the likeness and the image of God to change the world! The good news preached to Abraham was all about beliefs, actions, imaginations, and influence. This is the testimony of God’s life within those who manifest the likeness and the image of God in the earth. The image of self would be destroyed by the growing image of God in the earth. As leaders in the New Covenant we must lead with this aim. It is the “really good news” preached to all men in Christ!

Be a blessing, live to multiply, empower your children to empower their children, and live for the generational destiny of the family name. In blessing He will bless us, in multiplying He will multiply us, our descendants will possess the gates of their enemies, and through the seed of our family name the nations will be blessed. This the really good news of Christ in us, the hope of glory!

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you so much to those who have risen tot he challenge of helping House of Bread fulfill the call to be a resource and equipping ministry to the body of Christ. If you have not yet been able to offer your support, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

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Blessed to Be a Blessing

       Greetings;

As leaders, we must lead for the purpose of the good news of our destiny in Christ. I don’t believe that the message of predestination is about who is predestined in Christ and who is not. I believe it is about everyone’s commission when they find themselves in Christ. The outside of the door has a welcome sign of invitation for all to be saved. God’s desire is that all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Once we enter Christ, we find our focus is changed. No longer do we live for our own needs, our own desires, or our own purposes in life. When we enter Christ, we discover our true purpose in life. We are called in Him to be a blessing by God’s Spirit to others, to live with the desires of Sons of God in Christ, and to fulfill the purposes of God our Father in all things.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

We are blessed by God in Christ to be the blessing of God in the earth. When we enter Christ, we discover the place where all are chosen before the foundation of the world. We then live for the glory of the Father’s name in all things. The power of our destiny in Christ is by the working of His grace in our lives. We are accepted in the Beloved to fulfill the purpose of the Beloved in all things. Jesus is the eternal Adam and we are members of the Eternal Eve in Christ. It is only in that that we can fulfill the good news that was preached to Abraham, the father of faith.

What was the gospel (good news) preached to Abraham? I believe that we find this good news recorded in the 22nd Chapter of Genesis. In this story, Abraham had revealed his faith in believing God’s good news by his willingness to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. He expected God to raise him from the dead, because he believed the One who promised more than he believed the promise (Heb. 11:17-19).

Genesis 22:15-18   Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 

There are four key elements in the good news preached to Abraham. Those four things were:

1)  In blessing I will bless you

2)  In multiplying I will multiply

3)  Your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies

4)  In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed

The good news that God gave Abraham was not that He would merely bless him. It was that in blessing He would bless him. The Hebrew word for blessing here is placed in a double. It is the word blessing repeated twice. It can mean great blessing, but it more clearly states that in blessing God would bless. This is the foundation for belief of every human being. Do we believe and know that we are the blessing of God in the earth? When we realize who we are, we will live to be who we are. We are a testimony of God’s likeness and image in this world and we were born to bring glory to His name. As leaders, we must lead people in a way that they know who they are in Christ. They are not only blessed by Him they are His blessing in the earth. While the enemy pronounces “shame on you” words of bondage and death, God pronounces “shame off you” words of freedom and life. Being a blessing starts with believing who God is so you can believe who you are in Him. This is the foundation of the good news preached to Abraham. God’s plan was to make a way for human kind to be restored in the likeness and image of their heavenly Father in the earth. As leaders, we must lead others with a foundation of believing God and believing who we are in Him. It is the power of God’s Word and Spirit conceived in the human heart that establishes a foundation of believing God and believing who they are in Him. As leaders, we must be facilitators of God’s Word and Spirit in the hope of transforming the beliefs of men.

Living to be a blessing is the first step in doing our part in the calling of Christ, as part of the inheritance of Christ, by the power of Christ, for the purpose of Christ in all things.

Ephesians 1:18 …the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

 

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Life is a Matter of Relationship

     Greetings,

Life is about relationships and relationships are about life. It takes relationships to produce life and life is intended to inspire relationships. Since this is the true, being a leader of others is more about leading them in the way of relationships than it is about leading them into works of ministry. Jesus demonstrated a relationship with God as His Father and then He demonstrated that by giving His life to and for those God had given Him. It was through a relationship with God and humanity that He destroyed the works of the devil. The works of God are a matter of relationship.

As a leader in the body of Christ my number one responsibility is to maintain a healthy relationship with God and with those God has joined me to in life. My relationship with my wife, my children, my grandchildren, and my friends are to be a testimony of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not a matter of doing things or not doing things. The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking certain things or not eating or drinking other things. The kingdom of God is a matter of relationship with God in my heart. God doesn’t need anything from me. He gives me life, breath and all things. To be able to receive what He gives I must choose to be in a relationship with Him. Without a relationship with Him, I cannot receive what He wants to give. His gifts of life, breath, and all things are a matter of His love for me. This is a matter of relationship. Life is about relationships and relationships are about life.

The most important thing in any community of God is relationship. It is relationship that creates a community. The good news that God preached to Abraham was a matter of relationship. The kingdom of God is a testimony of the good news of God to mankind and that good news is a matter of relationship with God and one another.  That good news is often termed as being the “gospel”, but the word “gospel” is a word that was religiously created to encompass a simple phrase, “good news”.  Unfortunately, when we use the word “gospel” rather than “good news” we can often disguise “bad news” in the cloak of “gospel” and dupe the world in to believing something less than the “good news” of Jesus Christ. The “good news” is not that Jesus died so that we would go to heaven when we die. The “good news” is that Jesus reconciled all men to know God and Jesus whom God sent. This is eternal life (Jn. 17:3). It is now and forever! It is the place where heaven comes to our realities of the earth and where the life beyond this world is an increasing testimony of that heavenly reality. It is the place of forever knowing God! It is a matter of relationship! We have been given really good news in Jesus. He is the door to the eternal reality of the blessings of heaven in our lives and the true blessing is to know God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son. This is the foundation for eternal life in all things.

John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The good news of Christ is good news of an eternal relationship with God who is life. The testimony of heaven in our lives is a testimony of life and it will bring life to every relationship in our lives. The result will be the glory of God expanding in our world. Jesus was the Seed promised through the faith of Abraham and that Seed was the source of heaven to this world in which we live.

Galatians 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”

What was the gospel preached to Abraham? As I have already stated, the word gospel means “good news”. The good news is that an eternal Adam gave His life so that all can find themselves in the family of blessing! The good news is that Jesus Christ reconciled men to God while they were yet sinners so the blessings of heaven could flood the worlds of men. The message of heaven is one of transforming the world, but that transformation comes by way of relationship with God and with one another. It includes life beyond this world, but it brings the life of heaven to the world in increasing measures. This is the foundation for a one hundred year plan that affects the lives of our children and our children’s children in this world.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

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The Ingredients of Relationship

    Greetings;

Love is the only solid foundation of our commitments in life. If we don’t have a revelation of love in a relationship, our commitment to the relationship will be easily offended when the natural circumstances of that relationship shakes in life. When we become offended with another we then make a judgment towards them based upon things that are naturally true or perceived to be true in the relationship. 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. When we become defiled it inspires an insubordinate attitude towards the relationship. Submission is lost and a protection of personal agendas is sought. We become negatively expressive towards the relationship. We don’t see the other as a part of us so we are willing to destroy them with our attitudes, words, and acts in life. When we become insubordinate we then become apathetic towards the relationship. We no longer see the need to live to contribute who we are to another. We don’t care about the relationship anymore. We are not awake in our hearts towards them and we no longer see the need for them in our lives. When this happens we become bound to the logic of our own judgments. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has surpassed any revelation of the tree of life in the relationship. We seek to be separate in our desires, attitudes, visions, and aspirations in life. We find no need for the relationship. The end result is a total destruction of the relationship. Destiny has been laid in the dust and the relationship has been annihilated. There is no more future. Offense has led to judgment, judgment has led to defilement, defilement has evolved to insubordination, insubordination has transformed to apathy, apathy has grown to atrophy, and atrophy has now been revealed as death. The relationship has ended. Its end began with an offense, a refusal to stay in a revelation of love. Love is the foundation and love is the substance in the journey of our relationships in life.

Within a healthy relationship there is a foundation of commitment for the relationship. So, the first key element to a life-giving relationship is a commitment to the other or others in the relationship. This commitment is based upon a divine connection and it is a matter of the heart. It is the source of desire in the relationship. This is why it is very important to consider the possible boundaries for any relationship before allowing your heart to go to a level of commitment. God gives clear direction in His written word that confirms His voice in our lives. If we ignore simple wisdom like “equal yoking”, “godly pursuits”, “godly lifestyles”, “covenant principles” or other things instructed by God we will be inviting a destructive force into the foundation of any relationship we seek. Every relationship will be tested and only those established on God’s word and godly character produce the destiny of God’s will. We won’t get everything right, but we must seek to try to get it right!

The strength of any commitment in a relationship is the heart. Even if you are part of a team that sells a product, you must first be convinced that the product is valuable to those who will buy it. It cannot just be a matter of reasoning of the mind, you must believe in your product in your heart. This is even more true in life-giving relationships. You must believe in your heart that God is good for your commitment to Him to be lasting and true. This same principle carries over into the practical connections of our lives. We must believe in one another before we can believe in our connections to one another. The source of your belief must be rooted in your heart and not merely your head. For a relationship to be birthed and succeed takes a commitment to believe in the ingredients and the purpose of the relationship. The ingredients are its members and the purpose is its destiny.

Offenses lead to judgments, judgments lead to defilement, and defilement leads to separation by differences. The measuring of things in the relationship becomes self-focused and apathy spawns a care for external things above the relationship. Logic and reasoning bind the failing members to a stronghold of atrophy toward the future. The result is a divorce and a loss of destiny in the relationship. Can you see how important that first level of connection is? Offences are not worth taking!

Every God-ordained relationship must have within it increasing measures of commitment, faith, response, submission, contribution, love, and dedication. Let’s not forget that the strength of every relationship is only found at its simplest level of its formation. That simplest level is the point of our commitment. That commitment is based upon a revelation of who the others are in the relationship, not what they can do. As I have stated before, I call it a “first love” level of the relationship. The degree of connection to the “first love” level of the relationship will determine the increasing testimony of every other level that follows.

As leaders in the Church we must understand these things and we must live to demonstrate true relationships within our team connections. This is more important than what we say. Who we are as a team will demonstrate God’s grace and will empower those we lead to live in healthy relationships.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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Thank You – Ted J. Hanson

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Givers of Life At The Table

Greetings,

Life-giving relationships begin with a revelation of love and they are sustained through a growing revelation of that love. That love empowered revelation is the strength of true covenant commitments and it inspires acts of love towards one another in our relationships. Those acts of love prompt responses, and responses invoke a submission of one to another. That submission is based upon trust and it is a receiving of life and a giving of life to one another. It is like dancing. One move invites an responding move. It is like giving a drink of water to a thirsty mouth. The mouth must be ready to receive the water, but the hand must be willing to serve the mouth by tipping water in the direction of the thirsty mouth. Submission is not a matter of control or manipulation. It is a relational connection that allows there to be a dance of life that brings life to the relationship and bears the fruit of life to others touched by that relationship.

The trust of our submission determines the focus of our contribution to another. We must each receive a revelation that we were born to reveal something of the testimony of God in this world. Who we are is not for our own gain, but for the benefit of another. We are each part of the fellowship that contributes life to our covenant partners in life. When we have food at a table we don’t just merely experience food for our natural needs. We experience the feast of fellowship. When we willingly bring our best food to the table for the sake of another we create a feast and a celebration of diversity that makes the table a testimony of unity through the unique expressions brought by each one. Each of us has been given a measure of life to contribute to our relationships in life. It is not about what we can get from another, but what we can give so those at the table become a fuller expression of the one covenant expressed there. We must each recognize that those in our covenant relationships in life are contributors of life to our lives. More importantly, we must know that we are a gift of life for the sake of those we relate to. God gives each of us an ability to bring light to darkness and that light is for the glory of our relationship with God and with one another. It is a testimony of who Christ is according to His resurrection life! We must be awake to who you are and to who another is in the relationships of our lives. An ability to do works of righteousness for the sake of others is a testimony of life at the table of our relationships. There is a diversity of food that is given by each one, but there is one salt at the table that brings the unique flavor of who we each are for the sake of our fellowship together in life. Unity is revealed through diversity, not conformity. This can only be true when we know the mystery of living to contribute life to those we are in relationship with in life.

The focus of your contributions determines the value of your community. If we do not see that the contributions of our lives are for the life of others we will seek to take life from others and we will experience less than what God has for us. I believe that true community is the testimony of God’s presence that draws each member of the community to come-to-unity around the presence of Christ’s life. We then live with sacrificial love for one another we make decisions in our hearts for one another based upon love and not law. We become willing to make decisions for those we are in relationship in love and not a logical measurement of whether they deserve our love or not. This is the true testimony of sacrificial love for one another as one community for the glory of the relationship as one.

The value of your community determines the determination of your destiny. If we don’t have a revelation of our community together we will be willing to forfeit our destiny together in life. The purpose of our lives is not simply to live successful lives filled with earthly blessings. We were born to live significant lives that bear the fruit of generational destiny and inheritance. The fruit of our relationships in not merely revealed in our lifetimes, but it is ultimately revealed in the lives of our children and our children’s children.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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