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Mountainview Family,   

Last Sunday we began a new series called Captured. Our aim for these messages is to figure out, and live out, the answer to this simple question… How do we keep our attention on Jesus? It’s so easy to get distracted by everything else. What can we do so Jesus fully captures us as His true disciples?  

We started the series by trying to build a proper understanding of worship. Every one of us worships someone or something. Jesus said it like this in Matthew 6:21, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (NLT) What do we treasure? What is the object of our worship? A person? A thing? An idea? What is the true focus of my attention?  

One of my favorite books is The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God, by Dallas Willard. I first read it during my days in Bible College, and I’ve re-read it several times since. It’s that good… This rather long (400+ pages) book has had a huge impact on me. If it sounds familiar, that’s because I’ve quoted from it several times in sermons and in my weekly emails…    

Willard points out that Jesus gave His disciples (and us) the Great Commission, which is to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28). When he wrote the book in 1998, Willard claimed that Christians were failing to make more disciples. He made this blunt assessment…  

…One can be a professing Christian and a church member in good standing without being a disciple. There is, apparently, no real connection between being a Christian and being a disciple of Jesus

So how about it? Are Willard’s words an accurate description of us? Are we “professing Christians and church members in good standing without being disciples”? At Mountainview, we define a disciple as someone who is with Jesus, becoming like Jesus and doing the things Jesus did. A disciple is not just a semi-interested attender/giver/supporter who cheers on the “real” disciples.   

One of the key points of Willard’s book is to show Christians that if we are not true disciples, then we miss the opportunity to join in the “divine conspiracy”, which is partnering with God here, now and today, where He is at work, healing, renewing, restoring and reconciling.   

Willard wrote, God’s own “kingdom” or “rule”, is the range of His effective will, where what He wants done is done.  

Partnering with what God is doing around us is what we were created to do. We’ve been born (or re-born) and designed to participate in making this world as much like heaven as we possibly can. The New Testament declares that it is this partnership and participation with “on earth as it is heaven” that is the evidence of God in us.   

But maybe I’m still missing the point… and so are you. Willard says,   

Jesus does not call us to do what He did, but to be as He was, permeated with love. Then the doing of what He did and said becomes the natural expression of who we are in Him.  


Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

John 13:35 NLT   

See you Sunday morning at 9 or 10:40 as we worship Jesus Christ and continue to develop our Captured series.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Tom