Holy Spirit

I tend to think of “Dearest Children, God is Near You” as a child’s song.  At times I am not mindful that these words are for me, God’s child.

You are His child too – cherished and loved beyond your deepest yearning or imagination.

The words are simple enough for a child to understand and clear and plain in meaning for those with ears to hear.

-1-

Dearest children, God is near you, Watching o’er you day and night,
And delights to own and bless you, If you strive to do what’s right.
He will bless you, He will bless you, If you put your trust in him

-2-

Dearest children, holy angels Watch your actions night and day,
And they keep a faithful record Of the good and bad you say.
Cherish virtue! Cherish virtue! God will bless the pure in heart. 

-3-

Children, God delights to teach you By his Holy Spirit’s voice.
Quickly heed its holy promptings. Day by day you’ll then rejoice.
Oh, prove faithful, Oh, prove faithful To your God and Zion’s cause.
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Feel the Spirit warm your heart and soul as you listen to one verse of “Dearest Children, God is Near You”.

And know that you are His precious child.

Jesus Children-16

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:3-5

A few times in my life I’ve had occasion to visit Pentecostal church services. Once, a small band played jarring loud music followed with exuberant shouts of praise. Another time, at a tent meeting the congregation prayed aloud-everyone at the same time!

This was intermingled with an evening of enthusiastic singing and clapping. Confused and feeling empty, I believed I was the problem because I had not recognized the Spirit.

Yet, eight years ago, when I desired to find a church that believes in the Holy Spirit of the New Testament, I did consider revisiting these charismatic and energized services.

I expected noisy obtrusive clapping and singing to become a part of the paradigm shift I’d have to undergo. I was willing to learn to adjust if that’s what it would take to ‘get the Spirit’.

“the Lord was not in the wind…the Lord was not in the earthquake…the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” 1 Kings19:11-12

Afterwards, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I became aware of a quiet and reverent attitude that I had not anticipated, and one that I deeply appreciated.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

In fact, as I pondered the alternative choice, I was very relieved that Heavenly Father led me to a church that is not as demonstrative as I’d thought one must be and where I never would have felt comfortable. I have rejoiced about this many times. His ways truly are higher than our ways.

“As for God, His way is perfect” 2 Samuel 22:31

testimonyThe feelings I receive from the Holy Spirit are similar to those I had experienced at different times over the years while I was quietly reading my Bible. Then, my heart would swell with truths that filled my soul, God’s peace and love feeling very near.

“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all.” Boyd K. Packer

I love our services. There is no mistaking the Presence of the Spirit, although our meetings would never be considered charismatic in nature.

Feelings of peace, gratefulness, love and joy are magnified when God brushes the heart. And often overflow.

When have you felt caressed by His Spirit?

A church minister and friend that I admire for his gentleness, humility and Christian example, posts daily on Facebook- uplifting and encouraging words that serve to remind his readers of the countless ways Jesus Christ blesses our lives.

While I was away last week this was one of his posts.

“Last evening I said to the crowd that if this was my last sermon, and knew I would never preach another…this is what I would preach…then did so. So, what would you say? If God said you could say something that the whole world could hear and you had one shot at it…what would you say? Would love to hear it….”

Friend, what would your response be if you had one shot at it?

If I had only one shot at it, this is what I’d say.

I’d tell the world about Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation-where we come from, why we are here and where we are going. People crave deep in their hearts to know these truths.

Out of His great love for His children He is desirous that all progress and rejoin Him as His heirs in exaltation. To make this possible there had to be an atoning sacrifice.

He willingly sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be the atonement-to bear the weight of our sin and pain in exchange for an abundant life; to be blessed with the promise and hope of exaltation-to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father forever.

I’d tell how that Beloved Son-our Spirit Brother promised-and was willing to suffer and give up His precious life that ours might become immeasurably blessed, way beyond what this temporal life has to offer.

Christ loves you and me so much that He willingly walked the mortal path, was killed, buried and was raised three days later. Resurrected, triumphant and powerful He lives to save each and every soul willing to pledge obedience, to do His will and follow in His footsteps while there is yet time.

I’d be sure to mention that during His mortal ministry, Christ promised that He would build His church on the rock of revelation so that we wouldn’t have to travel alone.

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven…on this rock I will build my church”. (Matthew 16:16-18)

He promised that the gift and companionship of the Holy Spirit would be available to enable each of Heavenly Father’s children to know the truth, to receive guidance and personal revelation.

Jesus Christ lives. And He keeps His promise this day. He desires each of us to know Him intimately, to recognize and hear His voice and to follow His direction with our whole heart, mind and soul.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

I would share how that promised gift is priceless; His divine touch, His love, His kindness, His understanding, His comforting hand, His Spirit, His gentleness, His inspiration and direction. None else knows and fulfills the heart’s needs and desires so completely and perfectly.

Jesus Christ lives today, is exalted to the highest place and His name is above every name-

 “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

Today, we may choose to not bend our knees in faith and humble adoration. However once the veil of forgetfulness is removed, we will remember that we were privileged to be present when He promised to give His life as the atoning sacrifice.

We will know that He endured His mortal ministry to the very end and arose triumphant. And as foretold, remember-every knee will bow in reverence and with inexpressible gratitude and praise for His faithfulness and infinite love-our Savior and Redeemer.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts”   Hebrews 3:7,15 4:7

The beauty and wonder of the restored gospel is that by the Spirit of revelation we can know this truth for ourselves today.

Do you know with all your heart and soul that Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son, is Lord and Savior of us all?! He lives to lead His church in these latter days.