Learning to Live in the Reality of Heaven Now — Dallas Willard

Learning to Live the Reality of Heaven’s Rule

As disciples (literally students) of Jesus, our goal is to learn to be like him. We begin by trusting him to receive us as we are. But our confidence in him leads us toward the same kind of faith he had, a faith that made it possible for him to act as he did. Jesus’s faith was expressed in his gospel of heaven’s rule, the good news of the “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 4:17). Heaven is a deeply significant word. From Abraham (Genesis 24:7) onward, it signified to the people of Israel the direct availability of God to his children, as well as his supremacy over all that affects us. From heaven, “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15; also 1 Peter 3:12).

Jesus was concerned to pass on to his followers this reality of heaven’s rule that undergirded his life. When he sent his twelve friends out on their first mission, he told them it was like sending “sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16). It would be butterflies against machine guns. Nevertheless—imagine sheep being told this!—there was no need for them to fear. Two sparrows cost a penny. Yet not one falls upon the earth “apart from your Father.” Heaven is so close that even the hairs on our heads are numbered. “So do not be afraid,” Jesus tells us. “You are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29–31).

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.

When Prayer Can Make Anxiety Worse

I have often been guilty of running to God in prayer when anxious, pouring out my worries and fears to Him. This is right and good, but the problem is I stop there. This article makes the argument that we need to go to the next step in our prayer, and pray to God while recognizing His love, faithfulness and care for us. From Anchored in Christ……………..

BOOK REVIEW: WOUNDS ARE WHERE THE LIGHT ENTERS

Wounds are Where Light Enters by Walter Wangerin, Jr. (Zondervan Publishing; 2017)

Walter Wangerin is a well-known Christian writer who uses his unique for storytelling and the use of dramatic and fictional elements (like his work THE BOOK OF GOD, a retelling of God’s redemption woven throughout the Bible as one story). This book, however, is more of anthology of short stories — many autobiographical — with the theme of the little (and sometimes big) ways that God can intervene in our daily lives. Stories such as Wangerin taking his small daughter to the largest cathedral in New York City,and using the appearance of a slovenly homeless man to teach a valuable lesson on how man makes many poor choices, but God is always watching over us and reminding that redemption is always possible. For readers who enjoy authors such as Max Lucado and his storytelling expertise to teach spiritual lessons, Wounds are Where Lighta Enter is a worthwhile read. 3 stars.