All Who Are In the Kingdom of God are Blessed — Dallas Willard

All Are Blessed in the Kingdom of God

Jesus announced in the Beatitudes that even the most deprived and insignificant people on earth could be blessed by living in the kingdom: the poor, those who were grief-stricken, those without reputation or standing (the meek), and so forth. About them he said, “Blessed are they, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Matt. 5:3–10; Luke 6:20–23). The blessedness was not in their condition of being poor, mournful, or disrespected. They were blessed because they could enter the kingdom, and to be in the kingdom means to be blessed no matter what else happens. They can rest in that. Their future in God is secured, and their present condition redeemed. Forever. No matter what.

From Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge. Copyright © 2009 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.



Theology of Work Bible Commentary: Jesus the Builder (Mark 6:1-6)

Most believers in North America (and, indeed, in all parts of the world) work in a secular environment for secular employers and with non-Christian work colleagues. As such, we all can learn a lot from the Bible on how to conduct ourselves in the workplace. Here is a brief lesson from Mark 6. From TheologyofWork.org…………………

A Half-Dozen of My Favorite Arguments for God

I am a firm believer in the thought that, even if one is not called to a ministry of apologetics, studying important aspects of apologetics for any believer will help to increase their faith and trust in God and the Bible, plus also get someone ready to answer any questions about God one may encounter on a day-by-day basis. So, this article does a really great job of summing up six of the most effective arguments for the existence of the God of the Bible. From FreeThinkingMinistries.com…………………..

The Resurrection’s Higher Math

This is a nice article from one of my favorite writers, Jared C. Wilson. Here, he points out how marvelous are God and His ways through an examination of Mark 12, where the Pharisees and Sadducees tried to stump Jesus in their question about who would the women be married to in heaven that had multiple husbands on earth. Interesting! From For The Church………………………

Your Personal Relationship with God Matters — Dallas Willard

Your Personal Relationship with God Matters

When people ask, “Why are you hopeful in the midst of this world, with all of the suffering and evil that goes on and all of the things that are happening to you?” they don’t want to hear merely about a great God. They don’t want to hear merely about redemptive history, an infallible book, or a covenant people who are a constant testimony to the real hand of God in history. They want to know what’s happening to you, what’s going on in your life. You are saying, “He is my fortress, he is my deliverer.” So they’re going to want to know when the last time he delivered you was. What does deliverance mean? How does this really work? Sharing the good news is often about sharing the personal good news of your life in Christ and not the abstract and generalized good news. They want to hear about your personal relationship to this personal God, who is the foundation of all of reality.

From The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Sometimes the Best Explanation Is ‘Forgive Me’

When we are confronted by another for an obvious sin toward them — like speaking harshly to a spouse or child — rather than give excuses and explanation, this article submits we should rather say, “Please forgive me.” From blogger Tanner Kay………………………..

How Can I Love the Bible When All I See Are Commands I Haven’t Obeyed?

If a follower of Jesus happens to be OCD regarding their salvation, or if they attend a legalistic church, then reading the Bible might be hard and depressing. But this brief article reminds believers that it is primarily through Scripture that they can become familiar with Jesus Christ, and then grow to see that God is loving and kind and merciful. From NavPress.com……………………….

3 Lessons From the Feeding of the 5000

This article does a great job in pulling together some lessons and insights from the miracle of feeding the 5000, mentioned in all of the gospels. From Stephen Bedard………

A sermon based on Luke 9:10-17 preached at Queen Street Baptist Church. Introduction How do we know when someone really means something? Usually they will repeat a statement more than once. Obviously it would be good if we took things seriously the first time. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. If I say something to my children […]

Source: 3 Lessons From the Feeding of the 5000

Can We Experience Eternal Life Today?

How God’s Spirit Helps Us See New Creation Now

One of the purposes behind this blog is to point people to great resources, websites, and blogs for encouragement, comfort, and spiritual growth. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to direct my readers to this site and ministry, but it is highly recommended! It is called Bible Project, and they have some of the most helpful and entertaining short videos on all kinds of Bible topics that I know. This article and video is on the now-available Kingdom of God. From BibleProject.com……………………..

https://bibleproject.com/blog/can-we-experience-eternal-life-today/

Our Most Destructive Assumption About Heaven

Here author and Bible scholar Randy Alcorn writes about one of his most important topics of interest: heaven and life after death. “If I could eliminate one belief about heaven, it would be the heresy that the physical world is an enemy of God’s redemptive plan rather than a central part of it.” From DesiringGod.org…………………………

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/our-most-destructive-assumption-about-heaven

Your Life Comes From the Kingdom of Heaven — Dallas Willard

Your life comes from the kingdom of Heaven

But we get a totally different picture of salvation, faith, and forgiveness if we regard having life from the kingdom of the heavens now—the eternal kind of life—as the target. The words and acts of Jesus naturally suggest that this is indeed salvation, with discipleship, forgiveness, and heaven to come as natural parts. And in this, he only continues the teachings of the Old Testament. The entire biblical tradition from beginning to end is one of the intimate involvement of God in human life—or else alienation from it. That is the biblical alternative for life now. “The crooked man is an abomination to the Lord,” as the proverb sums it up, “but He is intimate with the upright” (Prov. 3:32 NAS).

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

Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God

This article addresses our emotions and how they relate to our fellowship with God. “Throughout the Bible God continually encourages, comforts, convicts, and reorients us. Instead of handing us a manual on emotional self-transformation, he patiently and tenderly invites us to simply come to him with all our feelings. This makes our emotions one of the premier opportunities to deepen our relationship with him!” From Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (www.ccef.org)…………………..

Being With Jesus — Dallas Willard

Being with Jesus

“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.

Remaining Faithful While We Wait

Waiting for anything seems to be getting harder and harder for most people these days, but for the believer, waiting on God for a word or a rescue can be the most difficult thing of all. This article shows how important it is to maintain our faith in and trust in God, as well as offer some suggestions to make the most of those times when it seems God is taking a long time to respond. From InTheVine with Amber Thiessen………………………..

Where is God in Our Suffering?

Jesus flat out told His followers that they would have troubles in this world, but they are not left to their own devices to handle the struggles of their lives. Here is a nice quote: “Instead of making you comfortable, Jesus joins you in your discomfort.” From ConcordiaPublishingHouse.com…………………………..

In Spiritual Growth, Where There is a Will, There is a Way — Dallas Willard

Where there is a will, there is a way

In the spiritual life, it is actually true that “where there is a will there is a way.” This is true because God is involved and makes his help available to those who seek it. On the other hand, where there is no will (firm intentions based on clear vision) there is no way. People who do not intend to be inwardly transformed, so that obedience to Christ “comes naturally,” will not be transformed. God will not pick us up and throw us into transformed kingdom living, into “holiness,” against our will.

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

How to Respond When God is Silent

We have all had times in our walk with Christ when it seems that God is silent, which then leads to all kinds of suppositions and doubts about His relationship with us. That is why this little article can be a great encouragement, as it provides strategies and biblical wisdom to apply when God is being hard to hear and discern. From Christianity.com……………….

https://www.christianity.com/christian-life/how-to-find-god-when-hes-silent-11564135.html

Being in the World is All Right — Dallas Willard

Being in the World

Being in the world is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. The world is—in the end—God’s creation. The world is the place where God has appointed you to live. Your birth and life to this point haven’t taken God by surprise. God has prepared this time and this place for you. We find this place prepared through our family, through our country, and through our education. You have been prepared to rule for good. That’s the purpose for which God made you.

“‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.'” (Gen. 1:26)

God made you similar to Him and made you to rule over all the earth. This is a command that extends throughout Scripture, beginning in Genesis and continuing into eternity. This is the place you have in God’s order—to be the person He intended you to be—forever.

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

We Need to Practice Christlikeness ALL the Time — Dallas Willard

We Need to Practice Christlikeness All the Time

Asking ourselves “What would Jesus do?” when suddenly in the face of an important situation simply is not an adequate discipline or preparation to enable one to live as He lived. It in no doubt will do some good and is certainly better than nothing at all, but that act alone is not sufficient to see us boldly and confidently through a crisis, and we could easily find ourselves driven to despair over the powerless tension it will put us through.

The secret of the easy yoke, then, is to learn from Christ how to live our total lives, how to invest all our time and our energies of mind and body as He did. We must learn how to follow His preparations, the disciplines for life in God’s rule that enabled Him to receive his Father’s constant and effective support while doing His will. We have to discover how to enter into His disciplines from where we stand today – and no doubt, how to extend and amplify them to suit our needy cases.

From The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. Copyright © 1988 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Spiritual Growth — Dallas Willard

Spiritual Growth

While the initiative in the revival and reformation of the soul originally comes from what lies beyond us, we are never merely passive at any point in the process. This is clear from the biblical imperatives to repent and to believe, and—for the person with new life already in them—to put off the old person and put on the new, to work out the salvation that is given to us, etc., etc. It is certainly true, as Jesus said to his friends, “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But it is equally true for them that “If you do nothing, it will be without me.” In the process of spiritual reformation under grace, passivity does not exclude activity and activity does not exclude passivity.

Hence, the invasion of the personality by life from above does not by itself form the personality in the likeness of Christ. It does not of itself restore the soul into the wholeness intended for it in its creation. It does not alone bring one to the point where “the things I would, that I do, and the things I would not, I do not,” where “sin will have no dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). Rather, I must learn and accept the responsibility of moving with God in transformation of my own personality. Intelligent and steady implementation of plans for change are required if I am to lose the incoherence of the broken soul and take on the easy obedience and fulfillment of the person who lives ever more fully within the Kingdom of God and the friendship of Jesus.

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.

Conducting Business in a Good Way is a Good Way to Share God’s Love — Dallas Willard

Doing “good” business is a way to share God’s love

The fact that religious leaders often resist the idea that the entire business arena as a place of divine action is testament to the lack of a holistic perspective regarding the type and nature of “good things” (blessings) God is working in and through our lives. In such circumstances local businesspeople may be farther ahead in the ways of the kingdom than those leading a local church. Business is an amazingly effective means of delivering God’s love to the world by loving, serving, and providing for one another. God loves the world (John 3:16), and because he does, he has arranged the enterprise and organization of business as a primary moving force to demonstrate this love throughout human history. Thus, the field of business and its unique knowledge fall perfectly into what can and should be understood as an essential realm of human activity that can and must come under the influence and control of God’s benevolent reign.

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.

Polishing Pennies

Here is an article that is short but sweet, and packs a lot of insight into a few words! From AndreaSanborn.com at A View of the Lake……………..

A View of the Lake

cash coins money pattern Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes I feel like a Cranky Old Woman. You know the ones – their benchmark for all things good is the past, and they long ago lost their wonder at the sheer miracle of living.

Instagram can do that to me. But it’s not the attention-seeking self-focus of the world that bothers me. It’s all of the trendy Christian “influencers” with SOMETHING TO SAY. Scroll through any list of Christian authors or speakers, and there they are, with their blinding smiles, perfect hair and fashionable shoes. Scan their bios and there will usually be something about coffee and how they don’t always get it right, but they’re trying, and perhaps their weakness for binging Netflix.

Their carefully-curated online personas can leave us ordinary people feeling like we are losing the race to significance.

Covid has stripped many of us of our illusions. We have come…

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4 Reasons We Should Study the Book of Revelation

I think many people avoid reading and studying the Book of Revelation because of its strangeness and the many controversies over its meaning in church history. But this article by Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie states the case that blessings are to be had from reading this wonderful book of the New Testament! From Crossway.org…………………….

https://www.crossway.org/articles/4-reasons-we-should-study-the-book-of-revelation/