Byron Norrod—September 14, 2019

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Happy Sabbath, everyone! I was asked to give a short bio of myself. I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God and came to the Church when I was six weeks old and brought my parents with me, and it made a big difference in their lives. (joke of course). I'm 60-years-old now.

I was privileged to go to Ambassador College. We live in the Pasadena area and are the hosts for the Pasadena congregation for about 4-5 years now. We've had the Feast of Tabernacles here the last two years and will have it here again this year. In Pasadena there are a lot of beautiful sites and everybody is welcome to come and enjoy beautiful Southern California.

That's basically a short synopsis with us. I'm married to Cathy and we have been come with Fred for a long time. Harry Curley is my predecessor and when his wife died he ceased to be the host in the Pasadena area.

They say that everybody is connected to everybody by six degrees of separation. There was a movie called Six Degrees of Separation, and it just says that you know everybody in the world by a connection of 1-6 people so that you have a connectivity to everyone in the world.

That's hard to imagine when you consider how many people are in th world. But, everybody has some claim to fame. I have two degrees of separation from the actor Robert Duvall. I have two degrees of separation from the musician Sting. I don't know him personally, but Sting knows Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic, who knows Tony Robbins, who knows Pres. Donald Trump. So, it's possible that Sir Richard Branson also knows Donald Trump. So, I've got five degrees of separation between me and Donald Trump. He's a known entity is my point.

I've got 3 degrees of separation from Albert Einstein, who is now dead. I knew somebody's dad—who was a police officer—who used to pick him up when Einstein with his hair all disheveled in his nightgown and would take him back home; he was just walking around thinking. It works the other way, too. I have three or four degrees of separation from the rock star Meatloaf. I don't really claim him. He actually has my last name, and we're supposed to be third or fourth cousins, but I never met him. If Meatloaf has a drug dealer, then I've got five degrees of separation between Meatloaf's drug dealer.

By saying I'm connected to some important person, or by some obscure link, doesn't mean that I have a relationship with him. Now, if some of these people actually knew me that might be different. If I was actually friends with somebody very important and they valued my input and said, 'Let me call Byron and see what he thinks about this,' I tell you, in today's world it's all just so much fluff and vanity. How is it a big deal that I'm connected to anybody. I would like to tell you that you are connected to somebody who is far more important. The most famous and the most important individuals in the world, not only in the world, but the universe.

  • What if somebody super important, famous, noteworthy, a mega star knew you're name?
  • They were friends with you?
  • What if they asked and valued your opinion? That would be something!

Well, I'm here to submit that you know the Gods of the universe, far more important than any man, than any supposed great person or mega star! You know the Godhead—God the Father and Jesus Christ—and that's pretty amazing!

Tonight is my first message with Go To Meeting, and I would really like to make very positive and encouraging. I hope that everybody will be able to get something of encouragement.

I would like to explore just how important you are to God the Father and Jesus Christ our Savior, and I'd like to express the amazing blessings that come with Them smiling upon you, and actually beaming over you. Thus the title of the message: May God Cause His Face to Shine Upon You!

God Knows Your Name

He knows who you are! He knows who we are, and that's just amazing when you think about it! That He not only recognizes that He's given us a calling, that He knows our names.

We're going to see that God is vastly, abundantly concerned with you and your success! He wants you to succeed, He want you and me to become Holy and carry His name. Why?

Psalm 91:1: "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I will trust.' Surely He will deliver you from the fowler's trap and from the destroying pestilence" (vs 1-3).

  • Why is God going to be our Refuge, our Fortress and our God?
  • Is He going to have this relationship of protecting just any 'Joe' that comes along?

I don't think so!

  • Why would He deliver us unless He knows who we are?

Verse 14: "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known My name."

Our first portion on this, our part is actually that we are to know God's name. We are to seek Him, and as we do so then He begins to respond to us.

Verse 15: "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him." What a beautiful thing that God is going to want to protect us like that!

We will see that God is concerned with who we are and why. It's kind of hard to imagine. Each of us knows ourselves, so 'why would God want anything to do with me'? I know who I am; I know that I'm a jerk and sometimes I can be unreasonable, opinionated. stubborn, sinful and weak. Why does God want me?

Exodus 33:17: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'I will do this thing also that you have spoken, for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.'"

He knew Moses name, he was a patriarch. There was no Prophet besides him until Christ. What a benefit that was. But God is telling him, 'Listen, Moses, I've got you in the palm of My hand. I know who you are; I know your name and I've got you covered.'

Let's go back and see a little bit of Moses' insecurity; he's a little bit anxious; v 12: "And Moses said to the LORD, 'Behold, You say to me, "Bring up this people." And You have not told me whom You will send with me. Yet, You have said, "I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight." 'Now, therefore, I pray You, if I have found grace in Your sight, make me see now Your way, that I may know You, that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.' And He said, 'My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest'" (vs 12-14).

God's saying, 'I gave you rest; I've said it and mean it, here it is again. I'm with you, I've got you.' But Moses still wasn't convinced:

Verse 15: "And he said to Him, 'If Your presence does not go with me… [I don't want to go if you're not with me] …do not carry us up from here; for how shall it be known that I and Your people have found grace in Your sight? Is it not in that You go with us?….'" (vs 15-16). I just want to make sure that You're going with us, because without You, we're lost! We're doomed! We're nothing!

"'…So we shall be separated, I and Your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.' And the LORD said to Moses… I've got you covered. I've already told you and will tell you again] …'I will do this thing also that you have spoken for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name'" (vs 16-17).

This is important for us. We have a relationship with God but we don't see Him. We read the Word, and this is Jesus Christ in print, but we don't see God. How do you love someone, some being that intangible? It's kind of difficult.

Verse 16: "For how shall it be known that I and Your people have found grace in Your sight?…. [He wants proof! 'I need to know, and know that I know, that You're with us; please help me in this.'] …Is it not in that You go with us?…. [I've got to know that You're with me.] …So we shall be separated, I and Your people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth"—if You're with us!

The key element for us is that we have to know that God is with us, and that He is interested in our lives, because:

Verse 17: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'I will do this thing also that you have spoken, for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.'"

Because of that He's given us evidence. He's giving us a confidence that we can trust in Him and know with all our heart:

  • that we have the fruit of God's Spirit
  • that He's interacting in our lives
  • that He's showing us His portion in our lives

We can be confident in that! We don't have to doubt. We know that He's going with us. Why?

  • we've got answered prayer
  • we've got the fruit of the Spirit
  • He's given us understanding
  • He's given us His Holy Spirit
  • He's invested into us a portion of Him, His Holy Spirit

How amazing that is!

God knew Moses; he's a patriarch and he's somebody important and special. But if you're just talking about me, how do I know that God is with men?

2-Timothy 2:19 "Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands firm, having this seal… [this is how we know, we're sealed with this knowledge] …'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who calls upon the name of Christ depart from unrighteousness.'"

John has a lot of this; he tells us with such confidence that god knows who we are, and that we are actually His friends. Jesus is describing Himself as having these attributes, and He's laying down His life for us, the sheep:

John 10:14: "I am the good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine.'" This tells us clearly that Jesus knows who we are! If we are in His flock we will know Jesus and we will hear His voice, the voice of the Good Shepherd. Not only that, He knows who we are!

I once knew a milk-farmer who had 120-30 head of cattle that they milked by hand every day. They named all of their cattle and knew each of their cows by name. I was honored because they actually named one of their cattle after me.

John 15:9: "As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love. If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love" (vs 9-10).

Verse 13: "No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you" (vs 13-14).

We're striving, but we're weak. We're mortals and make mistakes. If Paul was, you and I are, too. Here we are striving to obey, to learn, to do what God tells us to do. We live a life of righteousness rather than living a way of sin; we're not practicing sin as a way of life.

So, what does Christ say, 'Because you're obeying Me, you are My friends.' Verse 13: "No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends.'" Jesus did that very thing! He laid down His life for me, and I suppose and hope that He knew who I was and who I was going to be! I can't prove that, I don't know, I know there is some sort of pre-destination, but we don't know who is going to be called, or who is going to respond to that call.

John 14:20: "In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me, and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him" (vs 20-21).

Does God the Father just love anyone 'willy-nilly'? Yes, He does! He loves all mankind; God is love and He loves everyone. Yet, we're a 'special treasure, a chosen generation,' we're His special gold, silver, rubies and pearls. We are His chosen, because He has given us a special calling and choosing, and now we are to remain faithful.

If we love Christ, it says that the Father will also love us. How much does God love us?

John 17:20: "I do not pray for these only…" [Jesus is not only praying for the people right there, the disciples and the followers] …but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word."

That's us! Jesus is praying back then, 2000 years ago, for you and I, and for everyone whom God has called and who is responding to the call.

Verse 21: "That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us…" In the same manner, the same way, or as much as! It means that by the same token.

He's saying, 'You Father and I are one, and I want the brethren to be one with Us'—in the same manner, in the same way, as much as!

Verse 22: "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one: I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vs 22-23).

See that word as? Didn't we just cover that as means in the same manner, in same way, as much as?

"…and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (v 23). How mind-boggling!

God the Father loves us in the same manner, as much as He loves Jesus Christ? That's what it says! How encouraging is that? I'm just amazed!

God Enjoys Us as His Children

We'll see that when we rejoice in our Maker that He takes pleasure in us. We have a part in this.

Psalm 149:1: "O praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker… [that's our part, our goal, the portion we can exude in] …let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name in the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the drum and lyre… [Why?] …for the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He crowns the meek with salvation" (vs 1-4).

In what instance would God the Father take pleasure in His people. Why would God take pleasure in us?

  • when we're singing
  • when we're praising God
  • when we're honoring Him

It just described it!

If we're entrapped in sin and living the wrong lifestyle, if we're moving forward in unholiness and practicing sin, God certainly isn't rejoicing in us. He's not taking pleasure in us. Our part begins with obedience to Him. Then after that, as Jesus said, we can become His friend, and we can praise Him with joyfulness. We will why He takes pleasure in us.

In Psa. 91 it talks about how God will take care of us under the shadow of His wings like a mother hen. This has to do with El Shaddai, meaning the breast, and it gives the concept of a protective mother hen who will attack all on comers if their going to be bothering her babies. She protects them by giving them extra heat and snuggling them under her breast and fanning them with her wings if it's too hot. She takes care of her babies.

We've got about 20-25 turkeys and we love them, about five teenagers and two little baby peeps right now. It's so neat to see the mother hen taking care of the little babies. We're going to see this again here:

Psalm 17:5: "My steps have held fast to Your paths, my feet have not slipped." Sticking close to God and doing what He wants; striving to honor and glorify Him!

Verse 6: "I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me; hear my speech. Show Your marvelous loving kindness, O Savior of those seeking refuge in You; by Your right hand save them from those who rise up against them" (vs 6-7).

Why is God going to keep us and protect us, v 8: "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings."

So, we are already 'the apple of God's eye.' It's hard for me to conceive of that, realize that and believe that, because we are carnal and sold unto sin. We keep making mistakes. That's what Paul said, he said that he had 'the law of sin, and who is going to deliver me from this law of sin except Jesus, the Christ?' But God has us as 'the apple of His eye.' Why? Because He takes pleasure in us! Can you believe that?

What workman wouldn't take pleasure in his workmanship? We know that we are God's workmanship. What craftsman is going to work and work and try to make a desktop perfectly smooth to stand the test of time and maybe last generations if it's taken care of?
Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His workmanship, being created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them."

God set the path. He told us what He wants us to do, and now we're striving to obey Him. What is He doing? He's molding and fashioning us like a potter's clay. He's fashioning us into a new creation!

He's giving us new life. He has already endowed us with His Holy Spirit. He's giving us the hope of salvation and giving us a peace that goes beyond all understanding. Why can we believe anything that God says except through the belief that we have through the power of the Holy Spirit. It's a gift that He's given us by grace. It's not something that earned or worked up. He is working it in us.

Certainly there are aspects of God's workmanship that may be considered 'drudgery' when we're sinning. God has to take care of the problem and He has to give us some little spanks on the backside and say, 'Listen, I want you to straighten up and fly right.'

But when we listen to the profane, or participate with the profane, God's not going to be pleased with us. When He sees us:

  • repent
  • change
  • grow
  • overcome
  • help others
  • share in love
  • reflect His love

Here's where we're beginning to see the loving Father look down and say, 'Yes, that's My son! See, he's doing a good work.'

Jesus says that there's joy for all the angels of God when even one sinner repents (Luke 15).

How We are Special to God

Ephesians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

I just wanted to introduce the Father right here. Paul is saying that God the Father is the Father and God of Jesus Christ, and Christ says this in John 17. That doesn't detract from Jesus being God either.

"…Who [the Father] has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ" (v 3).

He's already endowed us with so many blessing, benefits and 'cool' things that we have through the power of the Holy Spirit that He's invested to us. Why?
Verse 4: "According as He has personally chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love; having predestinated us for sonship…" (vs 4-5).

He's not going to bring a sea urchin into His sonship, into His Family. He's not going to make a water buffalo a son. But we are created in His image, and we're being transformed from this created being into the new created man.

I really like how Fred does v 4: "According as He has personally chosen us…"—a reflective verb! What it indicates is something being done toward someone for a purpose and to them for that purpose.

God says that he has "…personally chosen us for Himself…" (v 4)—for benefit; we are a benefit to God the Father! We are His inheritance (Psa. 33).

How amazing that He is granting us sonship and for His own will and the reflective is showing that it's going back toward God and He's done it for Himself personally. God is working with carnal, evil sin filled—sold unto sin—people; you and I. What is He doing? He's making a new creation, and He's taking pleasure in His workmanship!

Remember that during creation week it says, 'Day one this happened and God said that it was good.' Was it perfect? No! It wasn't complete, yet, but it was still good. God says, 'Hey, I did a good job on that. That's to My satisfaction and I'll accept that.'

It's the same thing here, step-by-step, incrementally, God is working in us, correcting us, healing us, making us to be so that we can be in His Family and He's pleased by it and He's pleased by us and our actions when we obey, and He enjoys doing this. How do we know this?

Luke 12:32: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father delights in giving you the Kingdom."

Any great athlete are going to be doing their sport whether they get paid or not. Why? Because they love it! This is what God loves, He loves the resurrection, He loves working with us and creating in us a new creation. It's pleasing to Him. God's going to be compensated, He's going to be paid for it, because He's going to inherit us into His Family. His children will actually become part and portion of His own Divine Spirit Family.

Ephesians 1:9: "Having made known to us… [made it clear, opened our mind and given us understanding] …the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself."

He set this as a goal within Himself that He will bring children through salvation into His Family! He is going to expand His Family, because 'I love and I want them to love. I want them to have the same love that Jesus and I have.' That's what Jesus said in John 17, that God loves us as much as He loves Jesus.

Verse 10: "That in the Divine plan for the fulfilling of the times…"—He already set it up, it was His plan!

Verse 11: "Yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose… [His goal, success plan, design] …Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will." God Himself wants us!

Colossians 1:11: "Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy." We get to have joy; it's okay. We can take pleasure in knowing God!

Verse 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified…"—already done; but Paul's not preaching 'once saved always saved' here. As long as we don't mess it up, we're a shoo-in. That's just so hard to comprehend. God see things that are not as though they are already!

"…for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the Light; Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness…" (vs 12-13).

God Himself is looking down from heaven and says, 'I want you!' God wants you; that's wonderful! Why would God personally choose us, call, offer repentance, grant us forgiveness? Why would He personally rescue each of us and transfer us into His Kingdom if He didn't love you and me with undying enduring, long-lasting, exceptional love? He wouldn't!

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father…" (vs 1-2). Not Satan, not of any of his demons, not any angels, not Jesus; but God the Father predetermined it!

"…by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (vs 2-3).

What this is saying is that it's no surprise to God. If I make into God's Kingdom, He's not going to be surprised. God knows exactly what He's doing. He knows why He's wanting us, and He Himself has begotten us with knowledge and foresight and intent.

We are Already In God's Family

We are already in the Family, the Family! This so amazing to think of, that we can actually become god-beings.

John 5:17: But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" (vs 17-18).

Philippians 2:6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God."

We will see that Jesus is actually elevating us to that same God-level. Herbert Armstrong used to talk about that there's an animal level and then there's the human level, then the God-level and God communicates through His Spirit on the God-plane. Humans connect with each other on the human-plane. But when God shares a portion of His Holy Spirit they overlap a little bit, but the human plane get to interact with the God-plane a little bit. Now we're able to interact with God the Father. That's huge! He doesn't offer that to the animals.

John 20:17: "Jesus said to her, 'Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren… [He's telling her that the disciples and apostles were His brethren] …and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God."

Remember why the Jews wanted to kill Him? Because He had elevated Himself saying that God was His Father, thus elevating Himself to the God-plane and made Himself equal with God! Now He's telling us that we get to be part of that Family.

Once again we that God the Father is Jesus' Father, especially when He was here on earth. We can also call God our Father; we have been raised to the level of the God-plane Family and we have the potential to become gods. When we think about it, it is so humbling!

Romans 8:17: "Now, if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him."

God's Face Does Shine on Us

Psalm 33:13: "The LORD looks down from heaven…"—checking us out! I'm going to show you that He's not looking at us with an evil intent or evil eye and ready to throw a lightning bolt!

  • He's on our side!
  • He wants us to win!
  • He's on our side!
  • He wants us to succeed!
  • He wants to be imbued with His Holy Spirit!
  • He wants us to become part of His Family!

He's looking at us with anticipation and hope. He's saying, 'Make it, my son, don't sin. I'm giving you a test, but watch out and succeed!'

Verse 14: "From His dwelling place He looks intently upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Together He fashions their hearts alike; He considers all their works. The king is not saved by a great army; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety…" (vs 14-17).

This man's worldly stuff, we have no hope in this, there's no percentage in that.

Verse 18: "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear Him…" He's winking at us; He's saying, 'Go for it, My son. Go for it! Be positive, win, My daughter.'

"…upon those who hope in His loving kindness" (v 18).

Psalm 34:15: "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry." He's listening! He wants us to cry aloud!

He knows what our needs are, but He wants us to look up and say, 'Lord, save me I need your help! I need You! Without You, I'm nothing!' Didn't Moses do that very thing. Moses said, 'If You don't come with us, we're lost, we're toast, we're going to die in the desert.'

  • God is championing our cause
  • He's investing in our future
  • He's investing His Holy Spirit in us

Why?

Psalm 33:12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people He has chosen for His own inheritance." We are going to be God's inheritance! This is so amazing!

Psalm 34:6: "This poor man cried, and the LORD heard, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them" (vs 6-7).

Isn't it nice to have angelic protection around us, to keep us safe and out of harms way? I wonder how many times each of us have been protected by some angelic intervention, some spiritual force field, some dome or sphere of protection, which we could have been injured in or lost out live for?

We will see that God is so excited about dealing with us that His face actually shines on us.

Psalm 67:1: "May God be gracious to us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. Selah." What a wonderful blessing!

I want you to imagine, if you can, in your mind's eye that you are watching a movie of Jesus Christ being baptized here on earth. He's gone into the river and He's talking to John the Baptist and says, 'John, I want you to baptize Me.' John says, 'Oh no, Lord! Not me I'm not worthy to unlatch your sandal. It is I who should be baptized by You.' No, I need this to be done!

Why? Why would Jesus need to be baptized? It was not for repentance! John was baptizing unto repentance, but not unto the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus was baptized and came out of the water as our example. Imagine God the Father up in heaven… If the angels rejoice over one sinner repenting, what about when Jesus is going and doing the things and fulfilling prophecy by setting the example so that we should follow it. What if when Jesus came up out of that water, God the Father's face beamed! He says, 'Yes, My Son, You're doing it!' Out of the heavens His face beams and rips open the clouds and beam of bright light comes down and illuminates Jesus Christ and a dove comes and lands on Him as symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Jesus already had the Holy Spirit, but now the Father is giving Him an extra measure. He was filled with the Holy Spirit! He's doing that as an example for us, and God the Father's face is beaming!

There was a movie about Michael Angelo and he was painting the Sistine Chapel and I think it was the pope comes in and looks up at the top and he sees a spark of life, when the two fingers of God and Adam are about to touch and Adam's about to be given life. The pope says, 'Why, you've got God smiling.' Michael Angelo responded, 'I've never known any father who did beam with joy and happiness at the birth of his first son.' Isn't that a 'cool' concept?

How much more when Jesus Christ saw it through to the very end and died on the cross for you and me? He endured the beatings, scourging, and lost so much blood, and by Who's stripes we are healed. He fulfilled every prophecy, everything that He did for us so that we could succeed.

Psalm 4:5: "Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. There are many who say, 'Who will show us any good?'…." (vs 5-6).

  • How do we know that God's working in our lives?
  • We do these sacrifices, but how do we know that God is hearing us?
  • How do we know that it's pleasing to God?
  • How do we know that God is hearing our prayers?

"…LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and their wine increased. I will both lie down in peace and sleep, for You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety" (vs 6-8).

  • God is giving us safekeeping
  • He's answering our prayers
  • He's giving us His protection
  • He's giving us understanding
  • He's given us His Holy Spirit
  • we're motivated
  • we're changing
  • we're growing

What evidence that we do not have? We should know that we have the Holy Spirit of God. What is the evidence? The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5)!

We can look at the fruit if the Spirit and they should be evident in our lives. A fruit has many parts: the stem, the leaves, the skin, the meat, the seed, the veins that go through the meat from the seed, and the heart of the seed. Each of these aspects make up a fruit.

So, the fruit of the Spirit is probably, 'Well, I have a lot joy, 'I'm really a joyful person. But don't ask me about long-suffering, I'm not so patient. Love is a pretty hard one for me.'

We should be excelling in each and all of those items. All of the aspects of the fruit. We know that Jesus Christ's face shined in the Transfiguration (Matt. 12). We see that His faced shined as an example of Him having a superlative position over Moses and Elijah. Him being the God of the Old Testament, His faced shined like unto Moses' face. Then we see that Moses' face shined.

1-Cor. 3 explains about the veils being on their face and us changing from glory to glory. That we, too, should have that same Godly emanation that we look up to God and God shines His glory onto us. Because we're praying, studying, learning, growing and changing, and we're not the same person that we were before we were baptized, now we can exhibit God's love toward others unlike we did before.

I'm not the same person I was before, thank God; I thank God for that. I doubt if you are either. But Moses had that option, the electrons of his face actually glowed, and he exuded light and it scared the people.

Psalm 104:15: "And wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil that makes his face shine, and bread to strengthen the heart of man."

Is he saying that we rub oil on our face and then He causes us to shine? Could be, but probably not! They didn't have air-conditioning, they had heat. If you go outside with a lot of oil on your face and you sweat and the sweat runs down into your eyes and it burns. You wipe your eyes.

So, what is he talking about? Well, before and after he's talking about food. He says wine, bread and oil. When we put oil on our food, that's what gives so much of the flavor. Why do we enjoy so much of the fat things and when you have a nicely marbled steak and cook it out on the grill and the fat melts off, but it gives extra flavor. The oil that we have that's added to our food makes our faces to shine!

Daniel 9:17: "And now, therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and cause Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary that is desolate for the LORD'S sake."

We are that sanctuary. God causes His face to shine on us. Sometimes when we're being punished we're desolate. Job was not happy when God was working with him to straighten him out. But then the effects after were very positive. When would God cause His face to shine on us?

  • when we're repenting
  • when we're forgiving others
  • when we're learning
  • when we're growing
  • when we're giving Godly service
  • when we're baptized
  • when we're obeying His voice
  • when we're seeking His way'
  • when we're suffering for righteousness sake
  • when we're taking his compact upon us

No matter the consequences! Even if it's unto our death!

We're going to see that God is so excited by us. It's so amazing that God rejoices over each of us.

Zephaniah 3:14: "Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad…" Our initial part is that we say, 'Thank you, God.' We praise Him; we sing and enjoy His majesty and praise His generosity.

"…and rejoice with all your heart… [David danced with joy] …O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD has turned away your judgments; He has cast out your enemy." (vs 14-15).

God, I don't know if you're going to be here with me on this thing, but I'm going to do this and I hope You're with me. I'm judging this to be what you want me to do, so please help me and please defray any enemies that may be coming at me.

So, God says that He's turned it away!

Don't worry about it, 'I love you. I've got you; you're in My pocket!

"…The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst… [right there with us] …you shall not fear evil anymore. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, 'Fear not! Do not let your hands be slack, O Zion. The LORD your God is mighty in your midst… [He's given us His Word, which is powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword] …He will save; He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love…" (vs 15-17).

Sometimes we might get in a bad attitude and say, 'Leave me alone, don't talk to me, I just want to stew in my anger. Leave me be!' That's not Godly and we should escape from that as quickly as possible. But if we rest in our anger God doesn't do that. God rests in His love!

"…He rejoices over you with singing" (v 17). I can't imagine that!

What if God singing—when we are moving forward toward Him—'Yes, you've passed that test! Congratulations, I love it! What if He says, I love you, my son, oh so much, you just keep on going and doing right.'

Can you imagine the pipes God the Father. Pavarotti had nothing on God. God has so much more and registers things that we can't hear. We can't hear dog whistles. Can you imagine the scope and range that God has?

When we started I said that there's six degrees of separation between you and anybody else in the world. That each of us knows at least six people. Some Jew is a little village in South Africa knows some Icelandic person in the Church.

But are we not connected to Jesus Christ and God the Father? We're not connected by some meaningless link through some other person, we have a direct, personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. We are in a direct lively, active communicative, interesting and viable relationship with God who rejoices over you and with singing.

We are in that direct loving relationship with the God of all peace Who causes His face to shine upon you!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 91:1-3, 14-15
  • Exodus 33:17, 12-17, 16-17
  • 2 Timothy 2:19
  • John 10:14
  • John 15:9-14, 13-14, 13
  • John 14:20-21
  • John 17:20-23
  • Psalm 149:1-4
  • Psalm 17:5-8
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Ephesians 1:3-5, 4
  • Luke 12:32
  • Ephesians 1:9-11
  • Colossians 1:11-13
  • 1 Peter 1:1-3
  • John 5:17-18
  • Philippians 2:6
  • John 20:17
  • Romans 8:17
  • Psalm 33:13-18
  • Psalm 34:15
  • Psalm 33:12
  • Psalm 34:6-7
  • Psalm 67:1
  • Psalm 4:5-8
  • Psalm 104:15
  • Daniel 9:17
  • Zephaniah 3:14-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 15
  • Galatians 5
  • Matthew 12
  • 1 Corinthians 3

BN:bo
Transcribed: 11/24/19

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