Greetings again my Brethren.  As they say time marches on and so true in our lives.  Before long 2021 will slip away from before our eyes and the only thing we will have to show for 2021 in eternity will only be the things we allow God to do in us. I am amazed at how hard some people work to build an earthly kingdom, but never really work on their relationship with the LORD.  My friend did you know in eternity we will be known not by all of the good works we did for the LORD, but for our relationship with Him.  Our relationship with Him will be the basis our rewards will be handed out not what was done, but how it was done.  How we do things is always more important then what we do.  In Luke Jesus told the disciples,       Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”  (Luke 8:18)  Unless we plug up our ears tightly we will never be able to “take heed to how ye hear.”  But what Jesus was saying do we hear things with a soft and pliable heart, with a heart for good intentions? Or do we hear things wanting only bad to come to people and their situation? If so then, “from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” My friend our relationship with the LORD is a big deal to God, but I do hear a lot of people talking about spending time with Him.  The world and all those things in the world seems to crowd out the LORD   I guess they think in spite of not having a relationship with Him now things will suddenly change in eternity.  Okay let us get back to the LORD’s visits. This month let us look at the word “manifest” in John 14:21 which is translated show, exhibit, reveal, or disclose. It is so strong that it implies almost a physical manifestation perceivable by our human senses. We have to take a few verses before to stay in the context of what Jesus was saying or we will get off track. Jesus talking to the disciples about the coming of the precious Holy Spirit.  “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”  (John 14:18-21)
  There is a ton of spiritual truth here if one has the spiritual understanding to read past the words.  Here Jesus says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”  But wait a minute Jesus left us right?   In John 14:1 Jesus said he was going away to prepare a place for us.  But in Matthew 28:20, Jesus said “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”  Well which one is it?  Did Jesus go away or did He keep His word in Matthew 28:20? Well it is both at the same time.  Jesus did leave (Acts 1:9-11) so He can come back as the Bible tells us, but He really never left us. Let me share a story with you.  When our kids were growing up I use to take our two older boys Dave and Dan to the park and would push them on the swings.  What joy they felt!  I would get behind them and push Dave then Dan, push Dave then Dan, push Dave then Dan high up in the air they went such  shrieks of joy you should have seen their faces, they would say dad really loves us. The swings were by a big tree and at a certain point I would jump behind the tree and not push them, well suddenly they realized no one is pushing and they were getting slower and slower, realizing dad is gone, oh you should have seen their faces then big tears, wailing crying dad does not love us! You know what I am talking about.  Like when we think God has forgotten and He does not love us. You know when He does all of the pushing in our lives and He seems to disappear, don’t we get a pouty face and even cry?  But, then suddenly I would jump from behind the tree and shout Dave Dan! And start pushing them again and all would be well with their little world.  Now I ask you, did I leave them? No I was right there with them every second they just could not see me.  Well, it was the same with Jesus He did not go anywhere we just cannot see Him, but He is right here with us.  He promsied “I am with you always” and He means it. In verse 21 this point is even made clearer, “he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”  Do you see the condition for Jesus to visit us, to reveal, to disclose, to exhibit, or to show Himself (even though He is in Heaven right now)?  “He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.”  Yes the Holy Spirit is here on earth what a wonderful Helper and Comforter, but according to this verse Jesus Himself will come for a visit.     

     Next month we will begin to look at  more diverse attitudes towards the Lord’s visit.  Do you see Him draw near? Please know God is near to them who are near to Him. Do you feel His presence?  Do you see His hand in your life? He is waiting on us to make our first move.   Written by David Stahl