Sonrise, Feb. 11 & Nov. 3, 1996 Revised Dec.21, 96; Apr. 07, 1997, Aug 2,98


1) The Scripture says:
        O taste and see that the Lord is good:
        blessed is that man that trusteth in Him! Psalm 34:8

2) If you have had a good taste of life in Christ Jesus,
        then you know that,
         "In His presence is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11

        & "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies
        and seek Him with a whole heart." Psalm 119:2

        "... He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
        Hebrews 11:6

2) As a result, anyone who know Jesus, want to get closer to Him.

3) So how can we develop a closer relationship with Jesus?

4) We need to seek His face!
        We need to often ask for His presence!
        We need to often confess our desire for Him.
        We need to confess our sin & that His blood is the only
                covering for our sin.
        We need to
        "Seek the Lord and His strength, seek
        His face evermore." Psalm 105:4

5) Every relationship depends on communication.
        Example: If I want to get close to a friend or a loved one
                I have to spend the time to listen and to speak to them.
        We should do the same with Jesus.
        If I want a relationship with Jesus, I must spend the time to get to know Him.
         To carry on a conversation we must be able to hear God.
        John 8:43 & 47, "He that is of God hears God's words..."
and John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and
                they follow me."
        To follow Him we must listen to His voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, which He has given to us as a witness. We must not listen to any other voice, not even the voice of our own minds.

6) When we act in agreement with Him, we act in faith & agreement
        with the word of the Holy Spirit.
        "Anything that is not of faith is sin" Romans 14:23
    Agreement with not faith is disagreement with Him.
        Psalm 95:7-8 "...We are the people of His pasture
        ... if ye hear His voice."

7) But many Christians don't hear God very well, particularly new
        borns. Some Christians rarely hear God. Others miss God.

8) So how can we learn to hear God or hear Him better.
        The key to relationship and hearing is obedience!

        "... to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are, ..." Romans 6:16

        We need to ask for His help, to be able to begin to obey!
        We need His help to do anything!

9) Above all, if you are not yet hearing God very well, do not receive condemnation! We could all hear God better.
 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...," Romans 8:1.
        If you desire Him, and your desire is to do His will, you are in Him, even if it seems you can't do anything as you ought to do.
For, " man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." I Cor. 12:3. And "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God..." John 3:3. That is, you can't see His goodness, you can't desire Him, unless you have already been translated into His kingdom by believing the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
        This salvation is of "faith that by grace, to the end the promise might be sure..." Rom. 4:16 If salvation came by works we could never be sure how much was enough, but in faith we can be certain since it depends only on His accomplished work.
 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free..." Galatians 5:1. Do not receive condemnation because of your failings, your desire to do His will is your guarantee that you are saved and cleansed by the power of His blood and by your participation in His death burial and resurrection.

10) The promise to all is ...
         "...Obey my voice, and I will be your God and ye shall be my people, and walk ye in all the ways that I commanded you that it may be well unto you." Jer. 7:23
   We have obeyed because we have believed Him!
         "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..."
        Isa. 40:31 This means wait like a waiter in a restaurant.
                If when you go the restaurant the waiter doesn't listen
        to what you want, and the next time he again doesn't listen, then you will ask for another waiter.
                Since Jesus is in charge of the universe and knows what
        is best in every situation, how can we not follow. How can we not do what He tells us to do? How can we follow anyone else?

11) But beware of the deceivers. Jesus tell us:
        "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit....
        Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
        Matt. 7:15-20
                "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. 7:21-14
                "Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock..." Matt. 7:24
   It is clear that a personal relationship with Him is, knowing Him, listening to, and obeying Him. There is no substitute for intimacy with Jesus. They that have it are His. They that claim it, but don't have it, are false prophets.
   This personal hearing and following relationship is the Kingdom of God, which He has invited us to join. His Kingdom, is blessed guidance, and provision in every circumstance. There is nothing as good, as fulfilling, as a close walk with Him!

12) How do we start? We start by choosing to obey!
        We need to begin by doing our very best to follow His word.
        That is, we simply choose to try to do His will, even if we are not yet good at doing it. Our choice is to follow in faith! If we thus act in obedience to His written word, then we are acting in faith, trusting in His word. Here we obey the spoken because we are commanded to in the written word. So we obey both the written and spoken word. We choose to obey the spoken word, an action in obedience to the written word. It is by thie act of faith-obedience that we start to operate in His ways, and begin to hear His voice, the Holy Spirit.

Rom. 10:17 "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the
        word of God."
        That is, hearing comes with the gift of faith; to perform or believe what is asked. And acting on what we hear is faith, which increases our hearing. Hearing improves the obeying, and obeying improves the hearing. This is like seeking a station on the radio. If you have heard the station before, then you know what it should sound like, and it is easier to tune in on it. The more you listen, the easier it is to stay tuned in to God.

Matt. 16:16-18 "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living god. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven."

Simon means hearing, Bar means born of, and jona=dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. So Simon Bar-jona means hearing born of the Holy Spirit. This hearing and obeying of the Holy Spirit is the basis for the action of the Church. It is only by the Holy Spirit that we can know the truth God intends that we believe. For the things of God are spiritually discerned, I Cor. 2:14. It is only by the Holy Spirit that we can know anything spiritual, or do anything that we ought to do.
Prov. 23:23 "Buy the truth and sell it not"
        How can we buy it? What do we have to give?
        We give up the old lies we used to believe and
        replace them with the truth which we then begin to live.
        We buy the truth with obedience to His truth.
        Obedience is a sacrifice, a giving up of self will.

        What is the truth? The truth is the gospel of Jesus,
        the gospel of the kingdom of God, the deity of Christ,
        and His redeeming blood.

Col. 2:6-11 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men and the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ."

Matt 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35
        "This is my beloved son, hear ye Him."

   On a mountain in Galilee, Jesus appeared to them after the resurrection.
Matt. 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
         All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

John 18:36-38 "I have come to bear witness to the truth"
        So we, like Him, must bear witness to His truth.
        And sell it not. Nothing is worth giving up the truth.
        There is nothing that we could receive as valuable as God's truth. So we won't give up God's truth in exchange for anything. We can't give it up.
        We must hold on to truth, for truth is what gives life.
        We can't charge people for it!


John 5:30 "I can of my own self do nothing, as I hear I judge."

        The same Holy Spirit that spoke through Him, saying this,
        we can now hear directly, and do as He did, obeying.
Matt 11:15, 13:9, 13:15-17; Mark 4:23, 7:16; Rev. 2:7,11,17,29,
        Rev. 3:6, 13, 22, 13:9<<
        "He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says."

Luke 8:21 "My mother and brethren are these which hear the
                word of God and do it."

If indeed we will begin to make a sincere effort to obey
        the written word, and to listen to the spoken word as the written word instructs us, to listen and obey the word of
        the Holy Spirit, given to us each day; then we will
        indeed be His servants, and do the works of God.
        We will truly wait upon the Lord.

And as we see in
Mark 16:17 "These signs shall follow them that believe..."


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