What the Good Samaritan Can Teach Us – – – Dallas Willard

What the good Samaritan can teach us

In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus not only teaches us to help people in need; more deeply, he teaches us that we cannot identify who “has it,” who is “in” with God, who is “blessed,” by looking at exteriors of any sort. That is a matter of the heart. There alone the kingdom of the heavens and human kingdoms great and small are knit together. Draw any cultural or social line you wish, and God will find his way beyond it. “Human beings look at the outer appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). And “what humanity highly regards can be sickening to God” (Luke 16:15).

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

Spiritual Formation is Essential – – – Dallas Willard

Spiritual formation is essential

It must be said that, at present, one of the great dangers to authentically Christian spiritual formation comes from sole reliance upon psychological teachings and practices that simply omit the realities of Christian spiritual formation, or else substitute for them processes that do not do justice to life in the Kingdom of God. The transformation of the inner self into Christ-likeness cannot be achieved by anything other than the life of God in the soul, and anything short of this, however good and proper it may be in its place, will not be enough to meet the deepest needs of the human heart or satisfy the mind and the emotions. It will leave life adrift.

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.

Faith Helps Us Know the Voice of God – – – Dallas Willard

Faith helps us know the voice of God


If you wish to know the voice of God as it comes to you individually, simply allow yourself to trust God to lead you into that. Ask God to speak to you and then wait attentively. He will probably speak to you clearly. But you have to understand and believe that this is even possible. Otherwise your faith will not rise to it, and you will not have the opportunity to learn. The reason I emphasize this here is because, when your friend asks about your relationship with God and the reason for your hope, you don’t want to be in the position of saying, “Well, he never speaks to me, but he speaks to lots of other people.”

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

The Role of Jesus’s Parables – – – Dallas Willard

The role of Jesus’ parables

Jesus teaches contextually and concretely, from the immediate surroundings, if possible, or at least from events of ordinary life. This is seen in his well-known use of the parable—which, from its origin in the Greek word paraballein, literally means to throw one thing down alongside another. Parables are not just pretty stories that are easy to remember; rather, they help us understand something difficult by comparing it to, placing it beside, something with which we are very familiar, and always something concrete, specific.

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

The Fruit of the Spirit – – – Dallas Willard

The fruit of the Spirit


The fruit of the Spirit simply is the inner character of Jesus himself that is brought about in us through the process of Christian spiritual formation. It is the outcome of spiritual formation. It is “Christ formed in us.” It is called “fruit” because, like the fruit of trees or vines, it is an outgrowth of what we have become, not the result of a special effort to bear fruit. And we have become “fruitful” in this way because we have received the presence of Christ’s Spirit through the process of spiritual formation, and now that Spirit, interacting with us, fills us with love, joy, peace. . . .

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.

https://link.biblegateway.com/view/5ef563cdde770e7b86421930hdfav.cbs/b8a0ffaf

Jesus Knows the Truth – – – Dallas Willard

Jesus knows the truth

Our commitment to Jesus can stand on no other foundation than a recognition that he is the one who knows the truth about our lives and our universe. It is not possible to trust Jesus, or anyone else, in matters where we do not believe him to be competent. We cannot pray for his help and rely on his collaboration in dealing with real life matters we suspect might defeat his knowledge or abilities.And can we seriously imagine that Jesus could be Lord if he were not smart? If he were divine, would he be dumb? Or uninformed? Once you stop to think about it, how could he be what we take him to be in all other respects and not be the best-informed and most intelligent person of all, the smartest person who ever lived?

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

Spiritual Formation Requires Practice and Discipline – – – Dallas Willard

Spiritual formation requires practice and discipline

Solitude and silence, fasting and frugality, study and worship, service and submission—and other practices that serve in the same way (there is no complete list)—are therefore integral parts of any reliable program of spiritual formation. They should be a substantial part of our private lives and of our associations with others in the body of Christ. They do not earn merit, but they do allow us to receive from God what will not be passively bestowed. They are not righteousness but wisdom.

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.

Loving God – – – Dallas Willard

Joyous Love of God

At the center of care for the heart is the love of God. This must be the joyful aim of our life. That is why Jesus, underlining the deep understanding of life worked out through the Jewish experience, stated that the first commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This is a command. It is something we are to do, and something we can do. We will learn how to do it if we intend to do it. God will help us, and we will find a way.

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.

The Value of Silence – – – Dallas Willard

The value of silence

As with all disciplines, we should approach the practice of silence in a prayerful, experimental attitude, confident that we shall be led into its right use for us. It is a powerful and essential discipline. Only silence will allow us life-transforming concentration upon God. It allows us to hear the gentle God whose only Son “shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice above the street noise” (Matt. 12:19). It is this God who tells us that “in quietness and trust is your strength”(Isaiah 30:15, NAS).

But we must also practice the silence of not speaking. James, in his Epistle, tells us that those who seem religious but are unable to bridle their tongues are self-deceived and have a religion that amounts to little (James 1:26). He states that those who do no harm by what they say are perfect and able to direct their whole bodies to do what is right (James 3:2).

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.

What are “Followers” of Christ to Do? — Dallas Willard

What are “followers of Christ” to do?

The task of followers of Christ is to know Christ and, in knowing him, to make knowledge of God and of life in God available to those around them. That is what responsible people do with knowledge of any important subject. If you have knowledge on any matter of great importance to human beings, it is your duty to make that knowledge available to others.If you know the house is on fire, you must share your knowledge with others. If you know where the bargains are, you tell your friends. If you know how to stop global warming or cure cancer, you have a duty to share that knowledge. Not so of your mere opinions, feelings, or decisions about such matters.

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