Tag Archives: Judgement

Last Adam, Second Man

Many a time when preaching in the villages of China one has to use very simple illustrations for deep divine truth.  I remember once I took up a small book and put a piece of paper into it, and I said to those very simple folk, “Now look carefully.  I take a piece of paper.  It has an identity of its own, quite separate from this book.  Having no special purpose for it at the moment,I put it into the book.  Now I do something with the book.  I post it to Shanghai.  I do not post the paper, but the paper has been put into the book.  Then where is the paper?  Can the book go to Shanghai and the paper remain here?  Can the paper have a separate destiny from the book?  No! Where the book goes the paper goes.  If I drop the book in the river the paper goes too, and if I quickly take it out again I recover the paper also.  Whatever experience the book goes through the paper goes through with it, for it is still there in the book. (page 38)

Much is made of the terms in 1 Corinthians 15:45,47 of Christ being both “Last Adam” and “Second Man”.  In one he gathers up sinful humanity into death, and in the other he inaugurates a new era.

“As the last Adam he wiped out the old race; as the second Man He brings in the new race.  It is in His resurrection that He stands forth as the second Man, and there too we are included.  “For if we have become united with him by the likeness of his death, we shall be also by the likeness of the resurrection” We died in Him as the last Adam; we live in Him as the second Man.  The Cross is thus the mighty act of God which translates us from Adam to Christ.”

You can change – reasons for change

Chester looks at three reasons we try to change.
1 that we want to impress God
2 That we want to impress ourselves
3 That we want to impress others

Then looks at the reasons we should want to change because we are a temple of the Holy Spirit or because we have a new identity or because we like righteousness

We cannot change by resolve. Look at Colossians 2 or Puritan John Flavel “we are more able to stop the sun in its course or make rivers run uphill as by our own skill and power to rule and order our own hearts. “
Page 47a

Telling a slave to be free is adding insult to injury but telling a liberated free to be free is telling them to enjoy their freedom and privileges. Page 55

You Can Change – Part 1 – Adoption

 

 

On adoption (page 37)

It was Sophie’s first day with her adoptive parents.  She stalked nervously round her new home, fearing one of the beatings she was used to getting if something go broken.  The toys in her room went untouched; she couldn’t quite believe they were hers.  At dinner she secretly stuffed food into her pocket:  you never knew where your next meal would come from when you were on the streets. That night she felt so alone in her big room.  She would have cried if she hadn’t long since learnt to suppress her emotions.

 

Now listen to her new mother one year on: “She crawled into bed with me last night, because she was having a bad dream.  She curled up next to me, put her head on my chest, told me that she loved me, smiled, and went to sleep.  I nearly cried with contentment.” (page 37)

In Pursuit Of His Glory – Part 2

Family points

Key Words Family Parent Children
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 266-267
Quote Talks about how he would bring up his children again

1. Listen to them when they talk with you, they will never turn to you at a convenient time

2. Do not dismiss their feelings of being hurt over the way their friends or teachers treat them

3. Make the meals at the table last longer – and encourage them to talk

4. Don’t leave them when they are afraid to go to sleep or need a bedtime story

5. Set time to be with them and keep your appointment as you would for the most important person on earth, for your children are even more important yet

He relies on Romans 8:28 and the promise of Joel to restore the years that the locusts have eaten. “But one must not forget: the fact that something works together for good doesn’t mean it was right at the time”

References All things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
The years that the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25)

The perfection of the ancestors

Key Words Pride Ancestors Past Father Reputation Success
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 264
Quote The quest to live up to one’s predecessors can be like Elijah who cried “I am no better than my ancestors”, But God wasn’t finished with Elijah yet
References No better than the ancestors (1 Kings 19:4)

Pursuit of the dream

Key Words Success Ambition Numbers Weakness Desire Popularity Reward
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 243-261
Quote Kendall talks about his apparent failures in the Chapel, how numbers have fallen and revival has not come

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, or does it explode p243

“You can always tell a successful man, but you can’t tell him much p244

In relation to numbers at chapel (p245) he talks about friendship. To some he was tomorrow’s man who would restore the numbers. When it became apparent that this would not happen these friendships disintegrated, whilst others accepted him no matter what happened.

O God, I asked for strenght that I might achieve; I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I aksed for help that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things
I asked for riches that I might be happy, I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that I might fell the need of God
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am among all men most richly blessed.
– A confederate soldier

Makes comparison with David, who was given so many good things, yet was not allowed to build the Father’s house. He tells story about a child going to the theme park and coming back home with their family. Asked if she had enjoyed herself one girl says “I did not get my balloon”. None of the rides ice creams could compensate for this. Instead of acknowledging that the boundaries have fallen in pleasant places (Psalm 16:6)

He disagrees with Charles Finney, the 19th century American evangelist (who he admires – p255) who taught that if we do certain things God will do certain things, therefore any Church can see revival

“When Ronald Regan had a slogan on his desk “There is no limit to how far a person may go as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit

References Though he slay me (Job 13:15)
Leanness to their soul (Psalms 106:15)
David told he couldn’t build the temple (1 Chronicles 17:1-15)
David’s covenant (2 Samuel 7:1-17)
Boundaries have fallen (Psalms 16:6)
Though the fig tree does not bu ýÿRX½<C:Users

Fear not

Key Words Fear Afraid
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 237
Quote Fear not (or its equivelant) is found 366 times in the Bible. One for every day in the year and one for leap year

Not the man I was

Key Words Sanctification Repentance Holiness Growth Discipleship
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 237
Quote From John Newton:
I’m not what I ought to be, I’m not what I hoped to be and I’m not what I will be, but thank God I am not what I used to be

Dignifying the trial

Key Words Suffering Trial Injustice Pain Forgiveness
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 222
Quote Talks about dignifying the trial, and putting up with the way that people may treat you badly

“You must totally forgive them, for until you forgive them you will be in chains”

Wanting a monument

Key Words Ambition Success Waiting Memory Monument Permanence
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 208
Quote Thoughts on Absalom who wanted to be sure that he would be remembered so he made a monument to himself. The thought of leaving any kind of monument to oneself, building an empire or ensuring that people will remember us is but to forfeit what God himself would have done for us. The glory that will come from God only is worth waiting for.
References Absalom’s monument (2 Samuel 18:18)
The Glory of God (John 5:44)

Avoid prophecy

Key Words Prophecy Visions Old Men
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 205
Quote You young men should stay away from preaching on prophecy (meaning the signs of the times and the events that precede the Second Coming) and let the older men preach on such because they won’t be around to see their mistakes.
References Old men dreams (Joel 2:28-29)
Pentecost (Acts 2:17-21)

Analogy of faith

Key Words Inspiration Scripture
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 203
Quote Talks about Calvin’s contribution to Reformation understanding of scripture, that it has an internal consistency, and that somehow faith is in proportion.
References Analogy of faith (Romans 12:6)

Every Christian

Key Words Theology
Source In Pursuit of his Glory
Author Kendall, R.T.
Page 193
Quote Every Christian is called to be a theologian.

The Life You’ve Always Wanted – Part 1

With Gods help

  Key Words Identity Sanctification Perfection
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 11
  Quote Kierkegaard:
Now, With Gods help, I shall become myself

Your life

  Key Words Holiness Redemption
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 1997
  Quote God is not interested in your “spiritual life”. God is just interested in your life. He intends to redeem it.

Stories and truth

  Key Words Story Truth Engagement
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 16
  Quote Quotes Tolkien:
It is the mark of the good fairy story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible, the adventures, it can give to the child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat, and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art.

Society of immortalis

  Key Words Eternal Heaven Judgement Eternity
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 17
  Quote From CS Lewis
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortal whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

Relationships and change

  Key Words Love Relationship
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 20
  Quote From Aaron Beck:
Beck says that the single belief most toxic to a relationship is the belief that the other person cannot change.

We shall morph indeed

  Key Words Change Transformation
  Source The Life youve always wanted
  Source Author Ortberg, John
  Location 20
  Quote Talks about the Bible morph words, and the importance of change. In his congregation there was a liturgy:
– it’s morphing time
– we shall morph indeed
     
  References Until Christ is formed (Galatians 4:19)
Conformed to the image (Romans 8:29)

The Divine Conspiracy – Part 8

The time of action

  Key Words Worship Devotion Discipleship Work
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 311
  Quote From Brother Lawrence:

Our sanctification does not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for God’s sake which we commonly do for our own… It is a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times. We are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action as by prayer in the season of prayer.

Page 313 – on making one’s job a primary place of apprencticeship to Jesus

Not, we quickly say, by becoming the Christian nag-in-residence, the rigorous upholder of all propriety and the dead-eye critic of everyone else’s behaviour. I hope that this would already be abundantly clear from our study of Jesus and of his teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere.

The pearl of great price

  Key Words Value Worth Kingdom
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 320
  Quote Talks about the great value of the pearl in the field

Only with such images before us can we correctly assess the famous “cost of discipleship” of which so much is made. Do you think the businessman who found the pearl was sweating over its cost? An obviously ridiculous question! What about the one who found the treasure in the field – perhaps crude oil or gold? No. Of course not. The only thing these people were sweating about was whether they would “get the deal”. Now that is the soul of the disciple.

Page 321
The counting of the cost is to bring us to the point of clarity and decisiveness. It is to help us to see. Counting the cost is precisely what the man with the pearl and the hidden treasure did. Out of it came their decisiveness and joy. It is decisiveness and joy that are the outcomes of the counting.

     
  References Pearl in the field (Matthew 13)

Obedience and abundance

  Key Words Discipleship Obedience
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 342
  Quote Certainly life on the “the rock” must be a good way to live. Wouldn’t you like to be one of those intelligent people who know how to live a rich and unshakeable life? One free from loneliness, fear and anxiety and filled with constant peace and joy? Would you like to love your neighbours as you love yourself and be free from anger, envy, lust and convetousness? Would you like to have no need for others to praise you and would you like to not be paralysed and humiliated by their dislike and condemnation? Would you like to have the inspiration and strength to lead a constant life of creative goodness. It sounds pretty good thus far, doesn’t it?
     
  References Life on the rock (Matthew 7)

The advantage of belief

  Key Words Belief Trinity Trust Doctrine Knowledge Wisdom
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 348
  Quote The advantage of believing in the reality of the Trinity is not that we get an A from God for giving the “right answer”. Remember to believe something is to act as if it is so. To believe that two plus two equals four is to behave accordingly when trying to find out how many coins or apples are in the house. The advantage of believing it is not that we can pass tests in arithmetic, it is that we can deal much more successfully with reality. Just try dealing with it as if two plus two equalled six.

Hence, the advantage of beliving in the Trinity is that we then live as if the Trinity is real: as if the cosmos surrounding us actually is, beyond all else, a self-sufficing community of unspeakably magnificent personal beings of boundless love, knowledge and power. And, thus believing, our lives naturally integrate themselves, through our actions into the reality of such a universe, just as with two plus two equals four. In faith we rest ourselves upon the reality of the Trinity in action – and it graciously meets us. For it is there. And our lives are then enmeshed in the true world of God.

Objectives of the disciple

  Key Words Discipleship Growth Vision Experience
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 351-353
  Quote Willard talks about the objectives of a curriculum for Christlikeness.

There are four things which must not be objectives:
1. Special experiences
2. Faithfulness to the Church
3. Correct doctrine
4. External conformity to the teachings of Jesus

Instead there are two prime objectives:
1. A delight in God and a fascination with him.
There is the illustration from 1 John 1:5 – what is it that John says is the message he heard from Jesus, how does he summarise it after all these years – “God is light and darkness in him there is not, none”
2. To remove our automatic response against the kingdom of God to free apprentices of domination, of enslavement

     
  References God is light (1 John 1:5)
The slavery of disobedience (Romans 6:6)
A slave to sin (John 8:34)

God in nature

  Key Words Nature Revelation Creation
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 358
  Quote God is revealed in nature.

Willard quotes Epictetus, a contemporary to Peter and Paul
“Any one thing in the creation is sufficient to demonstrate a providence to a modest and grateful mind.”

The argument here is that nothing in nature is self-productive or self-sustaining, and thought what seems to begin things is a mind, a thought.

From Wordsworth
And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with joy
Of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns
And the round ocean and the living air
And the blue sky, in the mind of man
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of thought,
And rolls through all things.

The notion here is that God is sensed through nature, in the same way that we sense another person’s thoughts when we are with them.

     
  References God’s invisible nature (Romans 1:19-20)
The word of God to the ends of the earth (Psalms 19)
The word of God to the ends of the earth (Romans 10:18)

Days in the wilderness

  Key Words Solitude
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 388
  Quote It was an important day in my life when at last I understood that if he needed forty days in the wilderness at one point, I very likely could use three or four.

Page 390
I had learned that intensity is crucial for any progress in spiritual perception.

Page 392
Thus the Christian philosopher Pascal insightfully remarks “I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they are unable to stay quietly in their own room.”

Living the eternal life

  Key Words Discipleship Eternal Life
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 402
  Quote We should be aware of, roughly, five dimensions of the our eternal kind of life in the Kingdom Among Us, and these dimensions more or less arrange themselves in the following progression:
1. Confidence in and reliance upon Jesus as “the Son of man”
2. But this confidence in the person of Jesus naturally leads to a desire to be his apprentice.
3. The abundance of life realised through apprenticeship to Jesus, “continuing in his word”, naturally leads to obedience.
4. Obedience with the life of discipline it requires both leads to and then issues from the pervasive inner transformation of the heart and soul.
5. Finally there is the power to work the works of the kingdom.

Belief in the future life

  Key Words Hope Growth Eternal Life
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 424
  Quote From John Hick:
If we trust what Jesus said out of his own direct consciousness of God, we shall share his belief in the future life. This belief is supported by the reasoning that a God of infinite love would not create finite persons and then drop them out of existence when the potentialities of their nature, including their awareness of himself, have only just begun to be realised.

We shall rest and see

  Key Words Eternal Life Paradise Heaven
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 436
  Quote From Augustine:
There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end. For what other end do we propose to ourselves than to attain to the kingdom of which there is no end?

The Divine Conspiracy – Part 5

On being Good

  Key Words Sanctification Goodness Growth
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 145
  Quote From C.S. Lewis
The command “be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.

On Jesus (from Willard)
He takes this concrete approach because his aim is to enable people to be good, not just talk about it. He actually knows how to enable people to be good, and he brings his knowledge to bear upon life as it really is, not some intellectualised and sanctified version thereof.

He knows that people deeply hunger to be good but cannot find their way. No one wishes to do evil for its own sake, we just find it unfortunately “necessary”. We want to be good but are ready to do evil, and we come prepared with lengthy justifications.

Page 154, from Bonhoeffer
The only proper response to this word which Jesus brings with him from eternity is simply to do it

Page 146
By contrast, a little girl in Sunday School expressed the human ambiguity well. When asked what a lie is, she replied “A lie is an abomination to God and a very present help in time of trouble.”

The revolution that lasted

  Key Words Jesus History
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 147
  Quote From Michael Grant:
The most potent figure, not only in the history of religion, but in world history as a whole, is Jesus Christ: the maker of one of the few revolutions that have lasted. Millions of men and women for century after century have found this life and teaching overwhelmingly significant and moving. And there is ample reason… in this later twentieth century why this should still be so.

Murder and anger

  Key Words Murder Hate Contempt Anger
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 168
  Quote In the United States there are around 25,000 murders each year. There are 1,000 murders in the workplace, and a million people are injured in the workplace by violent attacks from co-workers. Most of the workplace murders occur after long periods of open rage and threats, and many involve murders of innocent bystanders. It is a simple fact that none of the 25,000 murders, or only a negligible number of them, would have occurred but for an anger that the killers chose to embrace and indulge.

Page 169
But there is nothing that can be done with anger than cannot be done better without it.

… To retain anger and to cultivate it is, by contrast, “to give the devil a chance” (Eph 4:26-27). He will take the chance and there will be hell to pay. The delicious morsel of self-righteousness that anger cultivated always contains comes at a high price in the self-righteousness reaction of those we cherish anger towards. And the cycle is endless as long as anger has sway.

Page 177
If you pull contempt and unrestrained anger out of human life, you have thereby rid it of by far the greater part of wrong acts that actually get carried out.

     
  References Give Evil A Chance (Ephesians 4:26-27)

How things turn out

  Key Words Love Outcomes Consequence
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 177
  Quote Standing in the kingdom, we make responsible decisions in love, with assurance that how things turn out for us does not really matter that much because, in any case, we are in the kingdom of the heavens. In that kingdom nothing that can happen to us is “the end of the world.”

Men who were right

  Key Words Sexuality Adultery Lust
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 178
  Quote Jesus was confronted with multitudes of men who thought of themselves as good, as right in their sexual life because they did not do the specific thing forbidden by the commandment. They were like those who thought they were right in relation to their fellow men because they had not killed them.

The Unrivalled Master Of Human Life

  Key Words Discipline Obedience
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 206
  Quote And it is with regard to this issue of what kind of people we are to be that the teachings of Jesus about the rightness of the kingdom heart show him to be the unrivalled master of human life. Any serious inquirer can validate those teachings in his or her own experience. But they cannot invalidate them by simply refusing to consider them and hiding behind the dogmas of modern intellect.

Genuine theological research

  Key Words Prayer Theology
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 214
  Quote Prayer, it is rightly said, is the method of genuine theological research, the method of understanding what and who God is.

Pretty words

  Key Words Scripture Belief Trust
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 219
  Quote Lack of confidence in the kingdom will force us to take the “pretty words” reading of the words of scripture.
     
  References God-breathed scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Divine Conspiracy – Part 4

The world of the mind

  Key Words Intention Space Heaven
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 95
  Quote The mind or the minding of the spirit is life and peace precisely because it locates us in a world adequate to our nature as ceaselessly creative beings under God. The “mind of the flesh” on the other hand is a living death. To it the heavens are closed. It sees only “That inverted Bowl they call Sky. Whereunder crawling cooped we live and die” It restricts us to the visible, physical world where what our hearts demand can never be. There, as Tolstoy saw with disgust, we find we constantly must violate our conscience in order to “survive”.

Jesus, by contrast, brings us into a world without fear. In his world, astonishingly, there is nothing evil we must do in order to thrive. He lived, and invites us to live, in an undying world where it is safe to do and be good. He was understood by his first friends to have “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim 1:10). Thus our posture of confident reliance upon him in all we doo allows us to make our life undying, of eternal worth, integrated into the eternal vistas and movements of the Spirit.

     
  References Abolished death (2 Timothy 1:10)

We will see him again

  Key Words Death Resurrection Immortality
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 97
  Quote Nabokov to his mother after the death of his Father

Three years have gone – and every trifle relating to father is still as alive as ever inside me. I am so certain, my love, that we will see him again, in an unexpected but completely natural heaven, in a realm where all is radiance and delight. He will come towards us in our shared bright eternity, slightly raising his shoulders as he used to do, and we will kiss the birthmark on his hand without surprise. You must live in expecftation of that tender hour, my love and never give in to the temptation of the despair. Everything will return.

Making plans

  Key Words Immortality Eternity Heaven Pardise
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 98
  Quote So as we think of our life and make plans for it, we should not be anticipating going thorugh some terrible event called “death”, to be avoided at all costs even though it can’t be avoided. That is the usual attitude for human beings, no doubt. But immersed in Christ in action, we may be sure that our life – yes, that familiar one we are each so well acquainted with – will never stop. We should be anticipating what we will be doing three hundred or a thousand or ten thousand years from now in this marvellous universe.

Page 99
Dwight Moody remarked towards the end of his life. “One day soon you will hear that I am dead. Do not believe it. I will then be alive as never before.”

Believe in believing

  Key Words Belief Faith Prayer
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 104
  Quote When this cheeleading approach to the “real world” triumphs among those who profess Christ, they may then have faith in faith but will have little faith in God. For God and his world are just not “real” to them. They may believe in believing but not be able to rely on God – like many in our current culture who love love but in practice are unable to love real people. They may believe in prayer, think it quite a good thing, but be unable to pray believing and so will rarely if ever pray at all.

Connecting life

  Key Words Discipline Disciple
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 120
  Quote It is true that Jesus’ call to the kingdom now, just like that psalm, is of such a radical nature, is so utterly subversive of “life as usual”, that anyone who takes it seriously will be under constant temptation to disconnect it from “normal” human existence. Thus it is that “The Lord is My Shepherd” is written on many more tombstones that lives.
     
  References The Lord’s My Shepherd (Psalms 23)

Gospel for a silly world

  Key Words Stupidity Foolishness Wisdom Forgiveness
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 139
  Quote This is the gospel for a silly world, all the more needed because the silly is made a matter of life and death for many. Sin, for that matter is silly. If the kingdom did not reach us in our silliness who would be saved? Lostness does not have to wear a stuffed shirt to find redemption.

So we must see from our heart that:

Blessed are the physically repulsive
Blessed are those who smell bad
The twisted, misshapen, deformed,
The too big, too little, too loud
The bald, the fat and the old
For they are all riotously celebrated in the party of the Jesus.

Page 140
Even the moral disasters will be received by God as they come to rely on Jesus, count on him, and make him their companion in his kingdom. Murderers and child-molesters. The brutal and the bigoted. Drug lords and pornographers. War criminals and sadists. Terrorrists. The perverted and the filthy and the filthy rich. The David Berkowitzs (“Son of Sam”), Jeffry Dahmers and Colonel Noriegas.

Can’t we feel some sympathy for Jesus’ contemporaries, who huffed at him. “This man is cordial to sinners, and even eats with them!”. Sometimes I feel I don’t really want the kingdom to be open to such people. But it is. That is the heart of God. And, as Jonah learned from his experience preaching to those wretched Ninevites, we can’t shrink him down to our size.

Page 141
To the worshipper of Satan. To those who rob the aged and weak. To cheat and the liar, the bloodsucker and the vengeful: Blessed! Blessed! Blessed! As they flee into the arms of the kingdom Among Us.

These are God’s grubby people.

     
  References Beattitudes (Matthew 5)

The gospel of the Beattitudes

  Key Words Grace Attainment Ambition
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 142
  Quote Paul’s policy with regard to the redemptive community simply followed the gospel of the Beatitudes. He refused to base anything on excellence of speech, understanding and culture as attainments of human beings. Rather, in building the work of God he would disregard everything in the new humankind but what came from Jesus in his curcifixion and beyond: “I resolved to regard nothing in your midst except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2)
     
  References Nothing but him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2)

On being Good

  Key Words Sanctification Goodness Growth
  Source The Divine Conspiracy
  Source Author Willard, Dallas
  Location 145
  Quote From C.S. Lewis
The command “be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.

On Jesus (from Willard)
He takes this concrete approach because his aim is to enable people to be good, not just talk about it. He actually knows how to enable people to be good, and he brings his knowledge to bear upon life as it really is, not some intellectualised and sanctified version thereof.

He knows that people deeply hunger to be good but cannot find their way. No one wishes to do evil for its own sake, we just find it unfortunately “necessary”. We want to be good but are ready to do evil, and we come prepared with lengthy justifications.

Page 154, from Bonhoeffer
The only proper response to this word which Jesus brings with him from eternity is simply to do it

Page 146
By contrast, a little girl in Sunday School expressed the human ambiguity well. When asked what a lie is, she replied “A lie is an abomination to God and a very present help in time of trouble.”

C.T.Studd – The Biography – Part 2

Spiritual Champagne

  Key Words Prayer Quiet Time Devotion
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 59
  Quote The Lord is so good and always gives me a large dose of Spiritual Champagne every morning which braces one up for the day and the night.

Of late I have had such glorious times. I generally wake about 3.30am and fell quite wide awak, so have a good read, etc. and then have an hour’s sleep or so before finally getting up. I find what I read then is stamped indelibly on my mind all through the day: and it is the very quietest of times, not a foot astir, nor a sound to be heard, saving that of God.

If I miss this time I fell like Samson shorn of his hair, and so of all his strength. I see more and more how much I have to learn of the Lord. I want to be a workman approved, not just with a “pass” degree as it were. Oh! How I wish I had devoted my early life, my whole life to God and His Word. How much have I lost by these years of self pleasing and running after the world’s honours and pleasures.

     
  References Praying always (Ephesians 6)

Break on the judgment day

  Key Words Money Treasure Sacrifice
  Source C.T. Studd
  Source Author Grubb, Norman
  Location 67
  Quote Studd and his wife wrote a letter to General Booth of the salvation army, transferring over the last of their money:

You see we are rather afraid – notwithstanding the great early safety of Messrs Coutts and Co. and the Bank of England – we are, I say, rather afraid that they may both break on the Judgement Day. And this step has been taken not without most definite reference to God’s word and the command of the Lord Jesus who said “Sell that ye have and give alms. Make for yourselves purses that wax not old.” He also said “If you love me, keep my commandments” And again “He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar.”

     
  References Treasure in heaven (Matthew 6)
Sharing possesions (Acts 2:42-46)
Sharing possessions (Acts 4:32-37)
Sell what you have (Matthew 19:21)
Sell what you have (Mark 10:21)
Sell what you have (Luke 18:22)
Sell your possessions (Luke 12:3