Wednesday, October 19, 2016

IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: THE THREE KINDS OF HAPPINESS

“Whatever I do, I want to be happy and I want you to be happy” _Angie

            Let us hear from the mouth of King Solomon, known in the Bible as the wisest man who walked on the earth, “I know that there is nothing better than for men/women to be happy and do well while they live” (Ecclesiastes 3:12). To be happy is to feel or show a state of being satisfied, content, and cheerful. Happiness as I see it in our present context comes at least in three levels or kinds. The first kind, I call it as the sublime happiness. This is a kind of happiness reflecting eternity, having the element of permanency and it cannot be wiped away easily even if bad things happen in our life. The second kind of happiness is what I call the perceptual happiness. Perceptual happiness comes in relating to our ability to interpret positively being aware of things happening around us. And the third kind I shall call it the peripheral happiness, which is when something good happen to us from outside or by undertaking certain acts that make one happy. In this article, I will discuss these three kinds/levels of happiness and suggest that if they are understood correctly and taken in order, happiness as the wise Solomon said is indeed the best thing a person can have and must pursue in this life.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Disciple of Jesus


“A disciple may be very green and very imperfect. What characterizes the disciple is not the level of their perfection. What characterizes a disciple is that they are learning. That they are progressing. And before very long, they are very different in how they behave, because their inner being has been transformed.”
 
In being a disciple of Jesus, there are three areas that we need to think about:
1.      Just learning to do the things that Jesus said (Don’t get legalistic about this. It’s not a matter of what doing what Jesus said, but it’s a matter of becoming the kind of person who would naturally do them). The things that Jesus explicitly said to do are guidelines, and we need to have in mind becoming the kind of person who does that.
2.      How to live in the areas where there is no explicit command? Most of the things we do, Jesus did said about that in the Bible, for example Jesus didn’t say anything about automobile. What kind you drive, how you drive, that sort of thing. But there is still there is a way to do that. This is a combination of learning how to do the things he explicitly talked about, but also how to do stuff that we have to have guidance with. And we have to be spoken about. And here we have to learn to hear the voice of Christ, to listen for it, to learn to follow. And this might involve everything… everyone needs to listen and learn to do the particular kind of work they do with Jesus at their side and to hear his Prompting and His directions, so that life as a whole is lived in the Kingdom and not just the explicitly religious kind of things, or the moral commandments only. This includes areas of prudence as well as morality. What is the wise thing to do? Colossians 3:16- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom. Speaking and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with Grace in your heart unto the Lord.” This is the whole life kind of-the wisdom of Christ is what we need here. (Business decisions, issues about families, finances, politics, everything… all kind of concern of our ordinary life that we might not think about).
3.      How to act with power in the Kingdom: Prayer and giving are the two baby steps in learning Kingdom life. Prayer and giving are the two ways that we take tiny steps for learning how to act with the power of God in the Kingdom. This will cover everything from teaching Sunday School to a little child and talking to them about Jesus, about life and heaven… you talk to a little child, you counting on God to do a work there. If it’s leading a big meeting or writing a book, or if its starting a business, and so on. It’s all the same area. Cause we want to be acting in the power of God #Dallas Willard# The Divine Conspirarcy. 


Four Gospel Presentations Today


1.      The standardly version of the gospel: The Gospel is entirely about forgiveness. And the good news is that the beating you deserve is taken by someone else. And if you believe that it has, then you won’t get that beating. Your sins will be forgiven, and you will be in heaven because they won’t find any reason to keep you out. If you believe that Jesus suffered your sin penalty.  
#The standardly version of the gospel that you will hear among evangelical and conservative, not to mention fundamentalist Churches (You listen to the main people on TV who have nationwide programs, presenting the gospel).
2.      The Gospel of the left: That Jesus basically died to liberate the oppressed and you can stand with Jesus in the Battle (And you will hear that preached, and ordinarily people who take this, don’t say much of anything about forgiveness). The irony is that people in the first group (Gospel 1) do more than the second group (Gospel 2).
3.      The sacramental Churches Gospel: The Gospel that huge numbers of people here, they don’t really think much about these other issues at all. And that is just, do what your Church says, and it will see to it that you are received by God. For short, take care of your Church; it will take care of you. The sacramental Churches, so called high churches often tend more in terms of that. You do the things that Church says, in some cases beginning with the birth and ending with death. You have rituals that are said, and you can be sure that you are okay.
(This has actually looking more to heaven when you die; this has more in common with first group than it does with second, though there are a lot of interesting combinations that you can make).
4.      Trust Him and Be His Disciple: Put your confidence in Jesus and live with him as His disciple now in the present Kingdom of God. So what is the Gospel? The Gospel is you can trust Jesus. That’s it! That’s the simplest form of the Gospel, but not something he said about social evils, not something he did to secure your forgiveness. That’s all in there, but those are not the Gospel. The Gospel is Jesus. His availability. Put your confidence in Him. Come under the rule of God. God at work in your life. (All of us have this in bits and pieces at least. But there is a coherent whole here, of finding our life in the Kingdom of God. Matthew 4:7; Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:1). The Gospel is the good news that we can live now in teh Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ means i have confidence in Him for everything. I want to be as close to Him as possible, and learn from Him everything i can. I want to believe, and i do believe, that all His commandments are for my benefit. So anything he tells mes to do is for my good, and i will be much better off when i do it.
***Regeneration first, then justification, then sanctification, and glorification.  

The first three presentations of the Gospels are all about sin management. What are you going to do about sin? They’re not gospels of regeneration and new life. New life now, in the present Kingdom of God, the present Kingdom of the heavens under the living Lord Jesus Christ. See, it’s often presented as somehow, if we have never sinned, we have no use for God. No use for Christ. They present Gospel as to free us from guilt. Grace is only for guilt. Think of yourself now in presenting yourself to the World- and we will end up there talking about that, and presenting Christ to the World- is it primarily or only a problem of what to do what to do about sin? Those are the gospels of sin management, and the first three Gospel presentations, basically turn on that. #Dallas Willard#The Divine Conspiracy: The Kingdom Salvation (It is the Forth way of Gospel presentaion that is the complete Gospel). 

Those who want to deny can deny: The Divine Conspiracy

John 3, what did Jesus said of those that are born in the Spirit? Precisely that they have a hidden life, which is the real thing that is going on in them. Now, that hidden life will manifest itself in great transformations, not just of character, but if you like signs and wonders language, it will certainly show up there too.  Now the onlooker will not know what’s going on. That’s what Jesus said to Nicodemus, wasn’t it. The wind blows where it lists. You hear the sound; you don’t see it. You see its effects, you perceive its effects, and that will also be true (John 3:8). But now here’s the crucial point for the understanding of the DIVINE conspiracy. A person wants to explain them in some other way will do that to their satisfaction. And that is a part of what God has in mind with the whole process of things here on earth, is to allow people who wish to go another way, to go another way. But to allow people who wish to know him to find him. Because the promise, as you recall, in Jeremiah is, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
# Dallas Willard# The Divine Conspiracy: The Kingdom Salvation

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Seeking the Kingdom of God

"But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33)

How do you seek the Kingdom of God? If you were to tell someone to seek the Kingdom of God, how would you say to them?

That means- FIND out what God is doing that is the Kingdom, and do that! But how do we find out what God is doing? Well, observed Jesus Christ, look at Him, listen to what he says, and watch what He did, that’s what God is doing. Now do that where you are, and you will find the Kingdom of God, and you will find the kind of righteousness that God has, and when you find out that you will have everything else you need will be provided.

“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28)

Dallas Willard# The Divine Conspiracy: The Kingdom of God

Monday, October 3, 2016

Repent for the Kingdom of God is at Hand

Repent/Repentance: (Metanoeo/metanoia) 
Repentance was the message of Jesus in the beginning of His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:17)
Repentance was the message of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2)
Repentance was the message of the disciples of Jesus (Acts 2:38 (1-47)
Repentance was the message of Jesus to the Churches in the last book of the Bible (the Revelation) (Revelation 2, 3)

What is Repentance?
The word Repent in the Bible (preached by Jesus) is “Metanoeo,” which means to think differently or afterwards, i.e. to reconsider (one’s life, words, thinking, and actions); to re-examine self.  

Why repentance?
John preached repentance that people may repent in order to know and be a part of the kingdom of God.
Jesus preached repentance that people may repent and to understand and be a part of the kingdom of God.;
The disciples of Jesus preached repentance that people may repent and can participate and be a part of the kingdom of God;
The Churches in the book of Revelation were called to repent; that they may not lost their place in the Kingdom of God;

How do we repent?
To repent, we reconsider, we think about our thinking (acts, words, life, etc) and when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit of our sins, we admit/confess our sins to God asking His forgiveness in the name of Jesus.
The Bible tells us to show our repentance by its fruits. Thus, for example: 
When you are convicted of your sin of lying to your friend; you (must) admit/confess your sin of lying to God (and to your friend) and ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus. Then you make up your mind (decision) not to lie again to your friend; you ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength to live a truthful life.
 When you are convicted of your sin of bribery, for example; you (must) admit/confess your sin of bribery to God (and to people your bribed) and ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus. You stop bribing (you give back the bribery money); you ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength to live a life of integrity.   

Do we need to repent?  
We all need to often think our thinking, i.e. to reconsider, re-examine oneself, our thinking, acts, words, life. Ask the Holy Spirit if there is any (unforgiven) sin in your life; ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins. When we are convicted of our sins, we (must) admit/confess our sins to God (and to people we sinned) and ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus and we show repentance by its fruit. 

  “We must repent if we desire to participate and be a part of the Kingdom of God.”

Unobvious Obvious!


An eye that gives you sight can blind you;
A tongue that invokes blessing can bring curse;
A mouth that enables you to enjoy food can ruin your life;
A mind that brilliantly guides you can insanely lead you;
A hand that feeds you can tear you down;
Aren’t all these things so obvious?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

On the Cross & Truth


“The Human Capacity to know the good and the right is distorted by human will to fulfill human desire. We want what we want, and that is why we need a divine source of knowledge is essential for human life.” _ Dallas Willard

The crucifixion is the center point of it all. The Crucifixion is the high point of the revelation of the Kingdom. Through Him He reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace to all things to himself, through him, whether things on earth or things on heaven (Colossians) that is where conspiracy comes out… individual/people thus move to toward reconciliation. Being lifted up (on the Cross) I will draw all men unto me.

Jesus referred His crucifixion back to the OT, to the old serpent that was lifted up and there was time where the Israelites were in the wilderness, and the poisonous serpent killing people, and if the poisonous serpent bits someone, Moses was instructed by God to put up the symbol of serpent on the pole where people can look at that serpent (and God heal them). And what did that serpent represent? It represents the poison of human self-will, that is what killed Jesus and that is what we see on the Cross. (The Cross is where Human will and God’s will cross_ Derek Prince) If you don’t know what the Kingdom of God is, Human will is all that is left. But the Cross is design to help people see what self-will does, what living as one’s own king does. And it is by looking at that, recognizing, and turning to God in Christ and giving up on self-will, and saying I want to live in the invisible Kingdom of God which is now available that we come to!

So what we need, what we must have, what the people of Christ bring in to the world, is “truth in the community of Crucifixion.” Human beings really can’t deal with truth on their own. So, that is why for example, instead of saying truth will make you free, you might aptly say, truth will make you flee, just a little change there. The truth will make you flee. It’s an important change, because the truth Human beings get apart from God is always or nearly always destructive, and it will be used for our purposes, and those purposes not subjugated to God will be harmful. (So now think of how the community of Crucifixion handles it, Paul speaks in first timothy, of the household of God, to timothy he said, I am coming and I want to instruct you and write you something that you will know how to conduct yourself in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and the support of Truth (1 Timothy). The Church supports truth? How can that be? Then we want to say the truth supports the Church).

“Truth can only be endured and promoted in the community of Grace where self-will does not rule, but where love rules.” And so that’s why you want to understand that Jesus did not say the truth will make you free. The elevator in the humanity building at USC, it just said, “the truth will make you free,” and apparently you don’t even have to know it any longer. It just has its wonderful mystical capacity, and this is where Babel lines up. Babel is where the blind confidence in human research and that its problem will be solved. Now, here is what JESUS said, “IF you continue in my words (and that means that you are living in it) then you are my disciples indeed, and you will know that truth, and the truth will set you free. That’s the whole sentence. Jesus didn’t said, the truth will set you free, but the confidence in Him, living with Him and being His disciples will enable you to know the Truth, in a way that it sets you free.
 (Dallas Willard# the Devine Conspiracy 01. Jesus & Culture)