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THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY
God is at work doing something very big in this world ... but it often goes unnoticed. We get glimpses of this "Divine Conspiracy" and hear the whisper of Jesus inviting us to enter in. The choice is up to us.
INTRODUCTION The divine conspiracy is breaking into human history. It comes not with an eardrum-splitting crash, but as a gentle whisper. The message is simple, but absolutely life changing. God's kingdom is not just coming ... it is here, in our midst. If we listen closely and follow the invitation to be part of this work of God in the world, our lives will never be the same.
There are signs and indicators that the divine conspiracy is at work in our midst and that we are entering into it.
God longs to entrust his presence and power in the lives of ordinary human beings. To do this, he must grow character within us and often this is forged in the fires of adversity, pain, and loss. Is God growing your character through the tough times of life? The kingdom is near!
The gospel is more than an offer ofcleansing from personal sin or a battle against injustice in this world. It is about the way we live life today. Grace not only cleanses us, but it is the fuel that propels us forward as we bring the presence and love of God into the world each day. As we live for Jesus and bring his love to the world, the kingdom is near.
God is more aware of the pain in this world than we are. Yet, he is a God of joy and overflows with happiness. When his joy is in us and we let it resonate wherever we go, the kingdom of God is near.
"Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). This is a call for us to reconsider how we have been approaching our life, in light of the fact that we now, in the presence of Jesus, have the option of living within the surrounding movements of God's eternal purposes, of taking our life into his life.
TALK ABOUT IT
Jesus calls himself our "Friend," but he is also our teacher (Rabbi). Tell about one way Jesus has become your teacher and how you are growing as his student. What practical things can we include in a normal day that help us become a more teachable student of Jesus?
To trust the real person Jesus is to have confidence in him in every dimension of our real life, to believe that he is right about and adequate to everything.
VIDEO TEACHING NOTES
As you watch the video teaching segment for session one, featuring John Ortberg's conversation with Dallas Willard, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.
The meaning of "divine conspiracy"
The importance of character
Understanding "the gospel"
God is present with human beings now
Becoming a student or apprentice of Jesus Christ
The good news of Jesus contrasted to the gospel of sin management
A fresh understanding of grace
God as Father
The happiness of God
In the Gospels, "the gospel" is the good news of the presence and availability of life in the kingdom, now and forever, through reliance on Jesus the Anointed.
1. What is an example of something God is doing in the world, but many people don't notice or realize it?
Excerpted from The Divine Conspiracy Participant's Guide by Dallas Willard Kevin Harney Sherry Harney Copyright © 2010 by Dallas Willard . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
A Word from Dallas Willard 7
Session 1 The Divine Conspiracy 11
Session 2 The Path to a Blessed Life 25
Session 3 Becoming a Good Person 37
Session 4 Treasuring What Matters Most 51
Session 5 Becoming a Community of Prayerful Love 65
Session 6 Living as a Disciple of Jesus 77