Knowing Jesus Conversations

16 02 2020

“Why I Am Sure of Who I Am”

Dennis and Scott sit down again to further discuss his journey in discovering who he is. This discussion is based on one of his recent blogposts entitled “The Sum of My Own Measure” . Listen in as they unpack about how Scott has become more certain of his identity in and as Jesus. (Click on the podcast title).





What is God Waiting For?

29 01 2020
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The year 2020 – did we ever believe the world would last this long? For most of my life I heard the end was near. The 50s brought the threat of nuclear war and annihilation. We thought it was happening in the election of Kennedy in 1960. He was surely the antiChrist. We thought the end was to be in the 70s with the Iran crisis – gas lines and high interest rates. It was surely to happen in the 80s with “Big Brother” and government corruption. God had to come and stop the mess. But we came through and even into the 90s and the new millennium with still no sign of Jesus “coming again” and taking us to heaven. 

I know the admonition, we cannot know the day or time, our timing is not God’s, we just need to be faithful, etc, etc. But what if God hasn’t been holding back, waiting to come again all along? What if He is up to something else? Let me suggest another possibility. Instead of us thinking that God is waiting to take us to heaven with Him, perhaps He is waiting for the best time to show more of heaven to us? What if what we always thought or have been taught has missed something. What if we have missed what has been God’s intention all along? Do we know what His greatest desire really is? Is it to reward us with another place for us to live – or – is it about where He wants to show Himself? 

The Bible storyline from the beginning is that God’s desire is to have a people not only He could call His own, but with whom He could live and dwell (Ex 29:46; Rev.21:3). That was the significance of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, then the Temple in Jerusalem, and now our bodies as His temple. The invisible God, not seen by anyone, has always wanted to be seen and known. He has always desired to be visible not just in the things that have been made but visibly living in His highest creation – a person (Heb.1:3). Not being content to just appear as a glory cloud over some gold covered box, God wants to be seen in and as a person created in His own likeness and image. He wants to be seen as a Person living in a person (Jn. 1:14; Col. 1:27). 

What purpose is there in “rapturing” us away if God wants to be seen here on this earth?

What purpose is there in “rapturing” us away if God wants to be seen here on this earth? Does it make more sense that what God is doing is preparing a people who will fully manifest His glory? Perhaps He is getting us ready for the third feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, the one feast of Israel that is yet to be fully fulfilled by Jesus. It is the one feast that pictures God “tabernacling” with His people. If we will allow this idea to filter how we read the scriptures then it will make sense to us. It puts a whole new meaning, for example, to Jesus’ words in Jn 14:1-3, In my Father’s house (all heaven and earth) are many mansions (dwelling places – you and I)….I go to prepare a place for you (for you and the Father to live)… And then He said later on,  At that day you will know (that day is when we know) that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you (v.20). We (God and Jesus) will come to make our home with him (you) (v 23). 

It was Paul that made this the grandest theme of the gospel – Christ in us the hope of glory. God is not dwelling in some far away celestial home, waiting for the set time to bring us there. He is all here now, living in Christ in us, and we in Him (John 14:20; Acts 17:28). His greatest desire is that we know it and learn to express His glory more and more through the struggles of life in the  earthly realm. This is the true meaning of “eternal life” or literally “age abiding life”. This is truly heaven existing in us. 

Could it be that what we are waiting for is not so much His return in the clouds but a greater “appearing” in the earth, through us? We find the phrase “coming again” is a mis-translation of the Greek word parousia, meaning “presence” or “appearing” (1 Thess 3:13). 4th century teachers chose to translate this word to best fit their Platonic theology of the time – that God was separate from His creation, a far away, other than us deity who detested the natural realm.  

I would encourage you to consider an alternate idea of God’s heart and plan. What would please his heart the most, to live in a gold palace, unknown and unseen by all his creation, or to be visible and known through us His most personal handiwork. Is He preparing a place for us or for Himself to dwell? 

I have no doubt there is a heaven. Neither do I doubt we are living in it and will always live in it. God says we are already seated there with Jesus (Eph.2:6,7). I am just not sure that heaven is way off somewhere as we’ve been taught, where we will sit on some cloud waiting on God. I believe that heaven is now in me. It’s the place where Christ dwells. He wants me to know that He fills my heart to the full (Eph. 1:23). I believe when He, Christ, appears, we will see the full glory of His presence in our transformed lives (1 Cor. 15:51-54). I hope this fills your heart with anticipation and eagerness to really know Jesus as you have never known Him before. 

Dennis D 1/8/20





Knowing Jesus Conversations

11 01 2020

Knowing Jesus Conversations is a discussion with men (and women) on learning what it means to live as Jesus. This podcast features one of our brothers sharing how discovering his life as Jesus freed him from a common temptation for men.

Listen as Scott Wakefield and Dennis Deardorff talk about Scott’s experience hearing the words “This isn’t who you are”.

You may contact Scott at scot-wak@hotmail.com . He also writes a blog at https://myscottpage.blogspot.com/

Click HERE to hear the “conversation” and our hope is that you too will discover what it means to live as Jesus. Gal. 2:20





Knowing Jesus through His sufferings

11 12 2019

Shot with Canon 7D.

 

Paul’s Desire

In his desire to know Jesus intimately, Paul describes the extent to which he is eager to go in this quest. He doesn’t want to know things just about Jesus but how Jesus Himself thinks and acts. He said that he wanted to know Him, AND the power of His resurrection, AND the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death..(Phil.3:10, upper case mine). He wanted to experience all that Jesus experiences, His thoughts, feelings, struggles, and victories.

Our Union with Christ

If Christ is our life, as Paul also proclaimed (Col.3:4), then we already have this opportunity to know Him this way. If we live as Him, there cannot be two separate life experiences. We must be the same. All that I feel is the same as He feels. Jesus said it this way Himself, He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises him that sent me. (Luke 10:16). That is the mystery of our union life. We share His power of bringing life out of impossible situations as well as His suffering in carrying everything through to its intended glory or goodness.

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Knowing Jesus as my power life

8 11 2019

The Apostle Paul has been my inspiration in the desire to know Jesus. His admission that he counted all things as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ indicates to me that this was His highest ambition. (Phil. 3:8 NKJV). I want to follow in his lead. 

For Paul, and us, the basis of our knowledge of Jesus starts with the fact that we share the same life (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:30). Jesus and I share the same body, the same heart, and the same mind. We are one just as He prayed (Jn.17:21). That means whatever I am experiencing He is as well and vice versa. Getting to know Him is in how I see myself in the face of life’s challenges. I am not Jesus, but He is living as me. I must accept the truth that He is my life, I have no other. There is no “I am imperfect He is perfect”, no “I am flesh, He is spirit”. If I think I have a separate life from Him I am living in a lie. Christ is all there is. 

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What are you thirsty for?

30 10 2019

On a recent conference call we discussed what happens when we only want Jesus in life.





Give Me Jesus

17 10 2019

Some people just want heaven, others want happiness or success. Just give me Jesus.





The Jesus I was trying to know

9 10 2019

For most of my life as a dedicated follower of Jesus I had difficulty saying that I really knew Him. I was taught the traditional view of His life as being a divinely born man who lived 2000 years ago, died a sacrificial death, rose again, and disappeared into the sky promising to return someday. Consequently, how could I personally know a Jesus who was far away, “up” in heaven, not here with me now? When Paul said he yearned to know Him (Phil.3:10) was he suggesting that he was also trying to know this far away Jesus? 

I have delightedly come to realize that that perception of Jesus is just that, a mental, outer concept, formulated by 4th century Christian leaders. Their Jesus is still waiting in heaven to return someday and then, the teaching suggests, we will have the opportunity to fully know Him. Until then, the implication is we must be faithful to follow His teachings and try to imitate Him so that He will accept us when He returns. 

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Which Jesus?

29 08 2019

creed-6

Occasionally I hear this comment by people whose lifestyles appear contrary to God’s pattern for us in Scripture, “I believe or love Jesus”. A recent example is the “Bachelorette” of the popular reality TV show declaring herself to be a believer in Christ but also excusing her extra marital sex life. She said, “I can be a woman of faith and still be sex-positive.”(1) For most Bible believing Christians this poses an obvious contradiction. What is going on here?

The problem stems from the fact that people can think in two ways, either with their minds or with their hearts (Pr.23:7; Isa 26:3). Jesus noted people can say one thing while their hearts are not in agreement (Matt.15:8). We also know from Paul that the mind can have a different focus than the heart (Rom.8:5). He points out in the same letter it is our minds that need to be renewed even while living in the Spirit (Rom.12:2).

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Do You really KNOW Jesus

6 08 2019

There is a great deal of difference between knowledge about Jesus and truly knowing Him. Most of my college and seminary training was focused on studying the historical life and work of Jesus so that I could teach others about Him. While I did manage to earn a degree in “divinity” I discovered that there was a dimension of knowing Jesus that I was still lacking. I was continually challenged by the words of Paul, “I just want to know Him…” (Phil 3:10). Here was a man who had a dramatic encounter with Jesus, was chosen to be His special apostle, wrote a gospel revealed to him by Jesus, and was still hoping to know Jesus?? If Paul still wanted to increase his knowledge of Jesus where did that put me?

What is it about knowing Jesus that so alludes us? What is it about knowing Jesus that years of theological training and ministry can’t seem to fulfill? I am fairly versed in every “ology” such as soteriology, ecclesiology, etc. but do I have “Jesus-ology” really down? What is it that I am still looking for?

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