Everything that matters in life is about RELATIONSHIPS. Who we are, what we do, and the destiny of our lives are not based upon our gifting or our anointing. Everything of life is a testimony of relationship. Fruit comes from relationship, not from works or abilities. God wants a relationship with each of us. As leaders, we must be examples of those who seek to give our lives to building, maintaining, and growing in relationship with God and one another. Leading people in relationships is more important than leading them in works of ministry. Love is a matter of relationships, not ministry.
What is the strength of a relationship with God? What is the strength of every relationship in life? Relationships consist of commitments, actions, responses, submission, contributions, community, and destiny.
Relationships begin with a commitment. The strength of that commitment determines the strength of the relationship. Relationships established by law will fail. They cannot express covenant. They can only hope to maintain some form of contract and contracts are as the name infers. Contracts restrict and bind its participants to one another in some way, but they don’t live for the purpose of the greater value of another. They seek to make a greater value of the contract and thus restrict the participating members from the greatness that is found in covenants. Contracts may appear to create things that are greater, but the binding force of a contract is law. The binding force of a covenant is love. Covenants are not based upon what we receive from another, but upon who we are for the sake of another. God made a covenant with us by giving us all that is His. We make a covenant with God by giving Him all that we are. When these two things become realities in the relationship, there is a powerful dynamic of life that is beyond anything that can be negotiated in a contract of law. Both contracts and covenants require a commitment of its participants, but the commitment of a contract is based upon law while the commitments of covenants are based upon a revelation of love.
The fuel of our commitments will create the force of our actions. The source of commitment is the empowerment of our actions. The empowerment of our actions determines the willingness of our responses. The willingness of our responses determines the trust of our submission and the trust of our submission determines the focus of our contribution to another. The focus of our contributions determines the value of our community, while the value of our community reveals the determination of our destiny. The determination of our destiny is rooted in the source of our commitment. The destiny of God in our lives is one of reigning in life in all things, but its foundation is God’s love. True destiny is not about being successful in life. It is about being significant. The measure of our legacy is not seen in the years of our lives, but in how our lives effect the generations beyond our days upon this earth! This is kingdom of heaven destiny! Jesus asked His Father for the nations, and the posterity of His name is seen in the generations of men.
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
The source of your commitment is the empowerment of your actions. One day a Pharisaic lawyer came to Jesus and asked Him what the greatest commandment in the law was. Jesus responded that the greatest was to love God and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that upon those two commandments rested the entire law and the prophets (Mt. 22:34-40). The law and the prophets depended upon commands to love God and one another, but humanity could not love God and one another based upon a command of law. Jesus gave a new commandment to His disciples. That commandment was to love one another even as
He had loved them, that they would love one another.
John 13: 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
This New Covenant command was based upon a revelation of God’s love. Only a revelation of God’s love will inspire a commitment of love. The source of our commitment to a relationship with God or one another must be a revelation of God’s love for us. When we know how much God loves us, we are inspired to know how much God loves others. Only a revelation of God’s love can create a true commitment that will empower the actions of our lives towards God and others. Love is a revelation, not a commandment of law to love another. A revelation of forgiveness leads to repentance. A revelation of reconciliation leads to understanding. A revelation of belonging leads to believing. A revelation of purpose leads to passion. A revelation of having a Father makes us a son or daughter. These are all elements found in a commitment based upon a revelation of love. Perhaps Paradise is a place where nothing works without God. It is then also a place where everything works with Him. Paradise with God is a place of knowing how much God loves us and this is the fuel of our commitment to Him and to one another. When we know how much God loves us, we then are inspired to know how much God loves others. You see, the revelation that God loves us is not just a revelation of His love. It includes a revelation of how undeserving we are – yet He still loves us! This is in turn inspires us to love others! It is not based upon a deserving of that love. It is totally based upon a revelation of love!
As leaders, we must set an example in commitments of love and acts of love towards others. Only actions motivated by love are true acts of faith. Leaders must seek to be examples in this that others may follow.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
Thank you to all of you who have partnered with me in prayer and support. More resources are being developed and we are moving forward with reaching the nations with the message of New Covenant Life and Grace.
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