Dearest ones, I am pleased today with the fervor and devotion of each of you who are serving me so faithfully, and looking to me for guidance and direction in every area of your lives. I am not a God who is far off, but a God who is near to you and I want to be involved in everything you go through to be your Helper and Sustainer in all the various activities and challenges that life brings to you. It is thus that we become friends and that you learn to trust my guidance and my love and mercy for you. Even if you fail or stumble, I do not cast you off, but I am there to comfort and console you, and continue to guide you in the right pathway. It is this daily relationship that teaches you to trust me in everything large or small. Now for the topic of the day. It is relationship. There are many who desire to have a relationship with me, but do not know how to get it. The most common way is to follow a set of rules and regulations, such as regular church attendance, having morning and evening devotions, paying tithes and offerings, doing acts of benevolence, sharing your beliefs with others in various ways, leading moral lives, eating healthfully, and so forth. Of course, all of these things are very important and necessary to produce and sustain a relationship with me, and I am certainly not saying that these things are not vital elements of a relationship with me. But I think you can see that these activities can be done without having a vital connection with me. Many people are avid church-goers and do any number of these things, but they do not hear my still, small voice in their hearts, and they believe that what they are doing pleases me and earns their salvation. But day after day they go their way without even missing me or perceiving that I am not with them, because I find no entrance into their heart. This is sad to me because I love every person that I have created with equal intensity, and desire that everyone be saved if they will respond to me. But so many do not heed my calls for repentance and submission to have what it takes to live a life of total oneness with me. Sometimes I allow tragedies to come into their lives to cause them to seek and find me. But I allow others to go on their way because their hearts are hardened and I know that not even tragedy would soften their hearts to seek me and know me. But now I want to turn from this rather depressing picture to one that brings me gladness and joy, and that is all my beloved ones who desire more than anything to follow me and know me and serve me with joyful hearts every day. These are my chosen ones who look to me all through the day and seek the guidance and wisdom of my Spirit, and thus we have sacred fellowship together. This is exactly what I had with my Father when I was upon the earth, and I am offering this to every person who wishes to serve me in the same way that I served my Father. It is a life of restfulness and freedom from fretting and worry, because your trust is not placed in yourself or others but upon my love and guidance. But in order to live a life like this, you must learn to know my voice. As I have said in John 10, my sheep hear my voice and will never follow a stranger, who of course is the devil. The first requirement of hearing my voice is to be students of the Word and know my voice and my thoughts and requirements in Scripture. As you read the Bible, listen to me, for I am speaking to you through the words that are written there for your learning and admonition and guidance. I also guide through providential leadings in your life that show you the directions that I have for you. And most important of all is to be able hear and distinguish the impressions of my Spirit working through my Word and providences, for Satan also tries to use these two avenues to counterfeit my influence in your life. Remember how he used the Word to tempt me in the wilderness! But I recognized him by his spirit of pride and arrogance and control, and contradiction to other Scriptures that uphold the character of God. So you too, must be very wary of anything coming from questionable sources bringing in what is supposedly new light, but contradicts the precious proven light which has been passed down through the ages by my faithful, tried witnesses of the past. And to insure that you know and follow truth, I have given you my testimonies through the work of Ellen White, which is light shining through darkness and error to guide my end-time people safely until I come. Avail yourselves of these treasures that I have given you in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, and compare Scripture with Scripture so that you become wise in knowing my truth and my ways. Then look for my providential leadings in your life, and seek to hear and know my still, small voice guiding you and directing you each moment through your day. For in this way you can have the intimate fellowship that I had with my Father while I was upon earth. You will also learn to hear me and know me and trust and love me in response to my love and care for you, and you will walk securely through each day until I come to receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also. Now go to the activities of the day, but remember that no matter what happens, reach out to me, for I am right there ready to help you. Do not listen to any dark voices in your mind, for I assure you it is not me, but our enemy. Dart a prayer to me and I will dispel him for you. You do not ever need to be in the darkness, when you can walk in the light of my presence and the assurance of my love and care for you. And even in this life you can have a relationship with me that will bring you successfully through every trial and temptation, and prepare you to live and reign with me in heaven. Lovingly, Jesus.