Practice Using God’s Gift of Truth — Dallas Willard

Practice Using God’s Gift of Truth

Truth is a gift God instilled into creation so that we can properly engage reality. In this way, truth is like aiming a rifle. If our aim is right, or true, then we are able to hit the target. Likewise, if our ideas and beliefs are true, we are empowered to engage with the reality of our lives. This is a very simple concept that only very bright people can confuse for us. It is a tragedy that truth, as it has come to be known today, is often considered enigmatic, unrecognizable, or even relative. Unbelief in truth encourages both hopelessness and arrogance. Neither can be endured for long when engaging the most important things in our lives.

From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Into the Waters with Us

This article provides a fairly in-depth look at five reasons why Jesus chose to get baptized by John in the River Jordan. “The echoes of Jesus’s baptism reverberated through his life, and still resound through the world to this day. For his baptism is an emblem of his entire incarnate work of offering himself perfectly to his Father and gathering us into his own consecration and obedience.” From Desiring God………………………..

Being with Jesus — Dallas Willard

“But if I am to be someone’s apprentice, there is one absolutely essential condition. I must be with that person. This is true of the student-teacher relationship in all generality. And it is precisely what it meant to follow Jesus when he was here in human form. To follow him meant, in the first place, to be with him.”

“If I am Jesus’ disciple that means I am with him to learn from him how to be like him. To take cases from ordinary life, a child learning to multiply and divide numbers is an apprentice to its teacher. Children are with their teachers, learning from them how to be like them in a certain respect—similarly for a student of the piano or voice, of the Spanish language, of tennis, and so forth. The “being-with,” by watching and by hearing, is an absolute necessity. . . .”

“God can, of course, make himself present to the human mind in any way he chooses. But—for good reasons rooted deeply in the nature of the person and of personal relationships—his preferred way is to speak, to communicate: thus the absolute centrality of scripture to our discipleship. And this, among other things, is the reason why an extensive use of solitude and silence is so basic for growth of the human spirit, for they form an appropriate context for listening and speaking to God.”

From The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. Copyright © 1997 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

What God Tells Us to Remember

This article suggests making the effort to do a word study on the word “Remember” and draw out all the lessons from the Bible to be derived from that exercise. And she offers some of her own findings. From……………….

Are You Resisting the Devil? – Sparkling Gems from the Greek

Pastor Rick Renner provides insight from the original Greek for James 4:7 — “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Some good wisdom and encouragement here! From………………..

Received Into the Number: A Theology of Adoption – Adoption in the Old Testament

Perhaps it is because I am an adoptive father, but I believe the subject of our adoption into the family of God is one of the most overlooked and one of the most beautiful aspects of our relationship with God. This article is the first in a series that looks at this topic. From Things Above Us………………..

How Joseph Saved Christmas

Do you know who I most want to meet in Heaven after Jesus? Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus. What a special man he must have been! This article talks a little about him. From Place for Truth…………………….

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Advent and Waiting on the Lord

“In God’s infinite wisdom, he seems to have chosen to make extensive use of waiting in his sovereign purposes. Indeed, the common experience for the people of God in every generation has been characterized by waiting. Indeed, we are reminded of this reality every time we sing some of our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.” From…………………

5 Steps to a Successful ‘Transplant’ of God’s Word in Your Life

This is a rather lengthy article, but it is very much worth your time to read! It contains a wealth of information to incorporate God’s Word within you for life transformation. From pastor and author Rick Renner at…………………

The Benefits of Practicing Solitude — Dallas Willard

Benefits of Practicing Solitude

Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, haste, isolation, and loneliness. You will see that the world is not on your shoulders after all. You will find yourself, and God will find you in new ways. Joy and peace will begin to bubble up within you and arrive from things and events around you. Praise and prayer will come to you and from within you. With practice, the “soul anchor” established in solitude will remain solid when you return to your ordinary life with others.

From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

7 Lessons on Grace and Peace from Paul’s Epistle Greetings

Grace and peace. Who does not want that in their life? Who would not appreciate someone sharing God’s grace and peace with them? From……..

A Walk of Good Works: Ephesians 2:8-10

This article touches on how Scripture equates our life with the way we walk. I suppose this is because how we walk and where we choose to walk tells a lot about us! From Place for Truth……………….

How Creating a Context Vacuum Sucks Us into Overwriting God’s Word

This is a pretty important article because it addresses an important problem that probably occurs frequently in our reading and studying of Scripture; and that is, if we are unaware of the context of a particular, then our minds will supply a context, which may very well be incorrect for that particular portion of Scripture. From Stand to Reason………………………..

5 Myths about Depression

As widespread and common as depression is, it surprises me to realize that so many people are misinformed about it. This brief article addresses some of the misinformation that is out there. Here is a quote I really liked: “Gandalf, one of my favorite quotable characters who exists only but no less vividly in the minds of readers, said ‘Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.’6 It is a temptation to think that we do when we do not, and to see an evil end when God has something quite different in mind and in store. Yet, it is a temptation to which most—if not all—of us are vulnerable.” From…………………..

I Was Discipled by….the Church

This is a pretty important article. We have all heard and read how important it is to find a mentor (or even to be a mentor for someone else!). But unfortunately, it is extremely rare for a younger believer to find a true mentor in the faith. But this article brings us the happy news that all of us can be disciples and encouraged by our local church…if we go about it in the right way! From The Gospel Coalition………………..

God Gives Abundant Gifts — Dallas Willard

Pay attention to God’s abundant gifts

It is God’s intention that our lives should be a seamless manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). He has made abundant provision for His indwelling our lives in the here and now. Appropriate attention to the care of our souls through His empowerment will yield this rich spiritual fruit and deliver us from the sad list of “deeds of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19–21). We can be channels of the grace of the risen Christ, and through our ministerial activities—speaking, praying, healing, administering—He can minister to others. But we must attend to the means of His grace in practical and specific ways to experience His life into and through our lives.

From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Luther’s Introduction to the Book of Micah

This article provides an introduction to the minor prophet Micah by Martin Luther. From Concordia Publishing Publishing House……………

God is the Most Joyful Being in the Universe — Dallas Willard

God is full of joy

We should, to begin with, think that God leads a very interesting life, and that He is full of joy. Undoubtedly He is the most joyous being in the universe. The abundance of His love and generosity is inseparable from His infinite joy. All of the good and beautiful things from which we occasionally drink tiny droplets of soul-exhilarating joy, God continuously experiences in all their breadth and depth and richness.

From The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. Copyright © 1997 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Sparkling Gems from the Greek

This time, the emphasis is on a very important verse that is found in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews 11:6 — “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” From……………….

Anxiety and depression are common to the human condition, even though we believers may try to “pray it out” and still try to rely on our own strength.  A really good article from Like an Anchor…………..

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental illnesses, and they often occur together. Just because its relatively common, though, doesn’t make dealing with both feel any less weird. Exhibit A, this image I ran across on Pinterest: It’s overly simplified, of course, to say “depression is when you don’t really care about […]

via How Do You Hold on to Hope When You’re Fighting Anxiety and Depression? — Like An Anchor

This is a book review from The Reformed Reader.  We need to better understand the Book of Revelation so that it can be the encouragement in hard times that God meant us to have (instead of all the silly date-setting and this year’s version of who the Antichrist is)………………….

Revelation is a great part of Scripture that in no uncertain terms tell us the reality of Christ’s ultimate victory, but it’s not always easy to interpret and understand the last book of the Bible. Some parts aren’t too tough; others are seriously difficult. One resource that has helped me study Revelation is Dennis Johnson’s […]

via Interpreting Revelation (Johnson) — The Reformed Reader