Beit l’hem (Bethlehem) in Hebrew means house of bread. In the ancient world and even today, eating is a means of hospitality. “Come to my house,” is an invitation to relationship. The Bread of the Presence in the Holy Place is such an invitation. Lehem happanim; bread of the faces is the awkward direct translation; is an appeal for face to face intimacy with God in a holy house.
Jesus our redeemer was birthed in the house of bread, prophetically extending an invitation from his Father’s house to ours. In Mark 6:33-44, Jesus understood that the crowd that came out to see him was like a flock of sheep without a shepherd and he had compassion on them. The first thing he did was teach them from the invisible bread of life. Then he fed them miraculously from five loaves and two fishes. It was a model for things to come.
Jesus makes up for all that we lack. He’s provided it all. Isaiah 52:3 says, “You were sold for nothing, and you will be redeemed without money.” (NKJV) Isaiah 55:1-3 says, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat.
“Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David.”
Jesus is the answer to every need. He makes up for everything we lack. Out of his riches we have abundance. There is no reason to buy into anything else or make exception; he can be trusted. Like the best of Father God, he generously and lavishly supplies it all.
“Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace. This superabundant grace is already working in us all forms of wisdom and practical understanding.” (Eph. 1:7-8, TPT)
Grace is not passive. It’s intensely active; causative. Perriseuo (superabundant) means excessive to a very great degree, to the point of causing increase. It’s part of the treasure of our redemption which forms in us wisdom and practical understanding. Whatever we face, whatever we need, wherever we go, what breakthroughs we require, these things are preceded by the cascading riches of Papa’s grace.
“Have you really rejected us, refusing to fight our battles? Give us a father’s help when we face our enemies. For to trust in any man is an empty hope. With God’s help we will fight like heroes and he will trample down every foe.” (Psalm 60:10-12, TPT)
Wherever personal spiritual victory is needed, our only hope is to allow Papa God to bring the inner battle to the surface where we will face our foe head-on. His freedom is fought in the light of spiritual realities and permanent transformation of our inner being. A father’s help establishes true identity in sonship and daughterhood with the design for a relationship of continual intimacy that is life-giving for ourselves and all those in our sphere of influence. We are powerful people; heroes of faith, hope and love. With his help, we can’t fail.
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness (dedicated, consecrated), experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” (Romans 12:1-2, TPT)
At the heart of reformation is the pursuit of transformation. It’s a response to Papa’s mercy and grace as an authentic ministry to him in worship. What pleases him is becoming what pleases and satisfies us as adopted sons. We surrender our lives for his in the greatest exchange anyone could ever experience.
Reading Romans chapter eight in The Passion Translation for the first time was refreshing and enlightening. The language is directed from God’s passion toward us; motivating me to lean into him like the disciple John did at the last Passover meal. Parking on this chapter for eight days would indeed be a feast on destiny and belonging.
“And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has.”
I’m a child who has been taken by the hand and ushered into a treasury stacked with more wealth than I can apprehend. Then I am told, “I’m going to teach you how to use this. It is my Father’s good pleasure to give you all of this.” (Eph. 1:9-12, 2:7, 3:8, 1 Cor. 2:6-13, Heb 11:24-26)
There is as much substance between the lines of Psalm 91 as there is in each verse because of the pictorial similes. The Passion Translation captures it well. “When you sit enthroned (dwell) under the shadow (protection) of Shaddai (the one who has power to complete promises of blessing and prosperity), you are hidden (safe from harm) in the strength of God Most High (the one positioned above everything).”
Colossians 3 says: “Therefore if you have been raised up (to life) with Christ, keep seeking (desire, try to obtain) the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died (completely dead to the old nature) and your life is hidden (kept safe, made invisible) with Christ in God.” [My emphasis added]
“He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold that shelters me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse.”
How would my life be different if I believed these things wholeheartedly?
The Kingdom of Heaven is compared . . . is the beginning of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 22. He tells of a king who arranges a marriage for his son and prepares an extravagant wedding feast. Invitations are sent to those aware of the king’s marriage arrangement and the king’s servants are forced to return with reports of indifference and hostility toward his gracious offer. They did not understand that the king had a much larger design. Had they honored the king, they would have become the object of the marriage and partakers of the king’s realm.
Ephesians 5 tells us that marriage is the mystery of the church becoming one (a composite single person) with Messiah Jesus.
Jesus prays in John 17 for those who have believed the truth of the king’s passionate invitation to join him in an eternal relationship. Jesus prays, “that may they may be one; even as You, Father, are in me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent me.”
We may well spend the rest of our lives apprehending the enormity of that potential. But first of all, our oneness and singular devotion to him is that the world may see that he has truly come, and we are on display as proof.