Hello again Rev. hope you have been doing good and as always its great to talk with you. Since we have talked over the months and maybe even last year or two I have grew in the word. I went and got a diploma from bible school, became an evangelist and I preach at different congregations within the church of Christ. My wife and I go out and hand out tracts and also I started making videos online and teaching by video online. I have read the bible all the way through and read the NT so many times I lost count lol. But with all that being said I still want one thing. I want to be as close to God as I can. As far as being a Christian I want to know God like Moses and Enoch did. I want to know Jesus like John and Peter and James did. I want to know Jesus like I know my wife and family. You know I want to not just read the bible and study church history and know a load of verses but know God in a relationship that is strong. I will over exaggerate here to make the point. I want to be able to walk outside and look up and say Jesus, and God say Yes Josh? Thats the way I want to know God. From your study and education of the bible what do you think. I feel like many many people claim to know God and may even go to the assembly but do not know Jesus in an personal relationship kinda way.
What a sweet email! Our precious Heavenly Father must be so pleased with you. After all, my friend, God wants exactly what you want.
Like He said, "Seek and you shall find..." You are correct in regard to to those who call themselves Christian, but know nothing of a personal
relationship with Christ....., sad to say. Part of the problem is the church. In our teachings, we move far to fast away from the basics. Just as in our social lives, we're quick to fall in love, but see no need to cultivate that relationship and make it all it could be. As a result, we lose out. We speak about love but fail to teach how to love. The 'Love Chapter' is read, even memorized, but few know the depth of the words written. A good teacher could spend a year just on that chapter. But the teacher and the student would have to submit to God's understanding of love - not ours. Each verse would be like a two- edged sword - cutting through our masks and pretensions. Few are brave enough for that journey. Yet, we who are called, are commanded to 'rightly divide the word of Truth'.
As teachers and preachers and minister and pastors, we are called to nurture the babes in Christ. That takes time. That takes sacrifice. That takes being 'one' with Christ.
To know Christ is to know Love. So, it only follows that if we are going to know this Love, by experience, we must spend great amounts of time in the holy of Holies. We have to study His word and learn the 'mind of God'. We have to listen for His 'still small voice.' That means we have to cultivate a relationship with: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. That's the basics! Without that relationship, you won't hear when He calls. Jesus says, " my children know my voice and I know there's." If you don't have that relationship, you will walk in confusion. Just last week a young man said to me, "how do I know if God is talking to me or Satan?" Wow! If you stick to the basics, and study the word and learn the word, you will know the mind of God. When you know the mind of God, you know Truth. That's the importance of cultivating a relationship with you Savior and Lord.
Teacher must learn first......then teach student. Slow down, hold the hand and lead the one who seeks. God will not forsake his child. And for you Josh, the Holy Spirit now lives within you, that about as close as God can get. God, the Holy Spirit is your Teacher, Guide, Counselor, Priest.... Indeed, my friend, He says, "When you call, I will answer."
Rev. Ramona Stonecipher