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A Real relationship with Jesus

It is often said that Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship.  It seems to me the distinguishing mark that makes that true is real two way communication.  People can sometimes talk about God speaking to them in a rather off handed way while for others it seems a mystery and can doubt whether other people's experiences are real.  Yet we all need to wrestle with Jesus describing himself as a shepherd of sheep who know his voice (John 10:4,16).  This coming Sunday I am planning to unpack this issue and would you appreciate your input so feel free to  make a comment on this posting and/or come armed with your questions/comments on Sunday.

I think it is an appropriate time to unpack this  as we are in the period of time between Jesus' resurrection and the ascension.  

Dallas Willard has written: "After his resurrection, he appeared to his disciples in visible form only on a very few occasions over a period of forty days.  His main task as their teacher during these days was to accustom them to hearing him without seeing him.  Thus it was ‘through the Holy Ghost’ that he gave instructions to his Apostles during this period (Acts 1:2).  He made himself visible to them just enough to give them confidence that it was him speaking in their hearts.  This prepared them to continue their conversation with him after he no longer appeared to them visibly."  This is an excerpt from his book Hearing God.  The epilogue from which this quote was taken can be accessed here, I encourage you to read it.

David Wanstall, 27/03/2008