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Reconciled (Review of 'The Nearness of God')

Posted Oct 25, 2021 in Responses and Feedback
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I have just finished reading a wonderful book! How Precious to Know the Presence of my Lord is based on a sermon by Elder Gavin Devlin from Australia, who is always active in the vineyard of the Lord despite his age. He emphasized more from his personal experience that indeed God's desire is to be near His children always, and that He has never changed since the beginning as a result of His Agape Love.

The book starts by telling us the purpose of why God through His dear Son, Jesus Christ, created man: He did so that man will reveal His character. The relationship between God and His Son was to be reflected in the relationship between Adam & Eve. Inspiration goes ahead to tell us that, "God created man for His own glory, that after test and trial the human family might become one with the heavenly family." {CC 21.5}. This was the longing desire of Our Father - that we have a perfect relationship with Him. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Sin separated us from God, not God separating Himself from us; in that instead of coming back to Him for reconciliation when we err ourselves, most of the time we run away from Him which saddens His heart. He is soloving that He bears burden of being separated by His children, allowing them free will, while trying to draw them back. This is evident because Adam and Eve ran away from God instead of running to Him, But Our Father out of His great love and mercy, He came "looking for them" for reconciliation.

We all have chances and choices to make. The decision lies in us. Adam and Eve used their power of choice and chose a different path that made God heartbroken, since He knew the results that would fall upon His children. I love how Elder Gavin puts it clearly on the consequences of the fall. I truly reflected upon them in my life and saw a reality of choosing the same path of running away from God.

"The heart in love with sin clothed God with its own attributes, and this conception strengthened the power of sin. {Ed 75.2}"

I would remember Romans 6:23 ("For the wages of sin is death) and I could only see a God of death. I see Him as responsible for my predicaments, since if I don't do strictly what He asks me, He punishes me. This contributed to my fear and feeling condemned for my sins. I didn't see God as who He is. I obtained a different picture of Him out of my carnal nature. I lost sight of His character as Adam did, but this book has helped me come to the realization that it's out of my choice of running away from God that many things happened to me, like lack of peace and joy. It is our separation, running and hiding from God that makes us think He doesn't hear us.

The concept that Our Father gave to beloved Gavin Devlin impacted me and I began having different thoughts. If we allow God, Our Father, to come close to us and have an intimate relationship with Him by the person of His Son, we will be reconciled, and at the same time experience true freedom even through life's struggles. We will end up fighting fear with trust, and because God gives power upon request, joy is around the corner.

 

KJV Isaiah 12

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

We will exercise gratitude to Our Father, who does not give up on us despite our shortcomings. He is really yearning to be known by His children as He is, and this was the purpose of His dear Son while on earth - to reveal His character.

The life of Jesus demonstrated what God, Our Father, is like; while the death of Jesus demonstrated clearly what we are like. When we believe God so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son, then we can know for certain that the process of reconciliation has been completed and which is available for us today.

KJV James 4

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

May we be willing to draw near to Our Father by separating ourselves from what separates us from Him, more especially the Babylonian garments of misunderstanding and misinterpretation we have about Him.

I would highly recommend this small but awesome book to those longing to learn more about how God saves us, and consider the principles of God's Character and government that apply whether in good or bad times and how they are applicable in our daily lives.  Shalom!