April 18, 2017
“Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.” (1Corinthians 15: 49)
Have you ever watched a dragonfly move from one plant to another with its two sets of wings making it possible to hover like a helicopter? A dragonfly actually spends the first two years of its existence at the bottom of a large body of water. When that phase of its existence comes to an end, it rises to the surface of the water, climbs up on the bank and lets it wings dry in the sun. Then it spreads those magnificent wings and begins the second dimension of its existence as an aeronautical wonder.
Easter reminded us that, like the dragonfly, we are meant to live out our existence in two dimensions. If you did a cross-section of that under-water dragonfly you would see that it has two respiratory systems: one for living under water and one for breathing air in the second dimension of its life.
If you could do a spiritual cross-section of a follower of Jesus Christ, you would find that we are also equipped with two systems. We have an outward person and an inward person. Our outward person is just a little clay pot in which our eternal inward person lives.
We are told in the great Resurrection Chapter (1 Corinthians 15), that we are given a body for living this life and we will be issued another body for living in the eternal state. According to Paul, that new body will be a spiritual body that will equip us for living throughout all eternity. I don’t know about you, but as a bed fast quadriplegic I’m really looking forward to being issued that new body!
Dick Woodward, 12 April 2012
November 25, 2014
“In everything … with thanksgiving tell God every detail of your needs … And the peace of God which transcends human understanding will stand guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7)
As I have tried to apply what Paul prescribes in these verses (in the NIV and J.B. Phillips), I have found this prescription for peace to be more helpful than any other spiritual discipline. According to Paul, an attitude of gratitude leads to the therapy of thanksgiving as we apply thanksgiving to our stressful circumstances.
Be sure to make the observation that Paul does not prescribe giving thanks for all things. He instructs us to give thanks in all things. When we do this it automatically moves our mindset from the negative to the positive. The apostle promises that the peace of God will protect and stand guard (like the soldiers chained to Paul as he writes these words), over our hearts and minds as they rest and trust in Christ Jesus.
Our circumstances are not always determined by God but may be caused by evil people who are persecuting us. We cannot always control our circumstances – but we can control the way we respond to them. Paul is telling us to respond with thanksgiving, because if we do, we will find this response to be God’s prescription that will bring peace that can contribute to our victory over those circumstances.
When a pastor asked one of his members how they were doing, their response was “Pretty good pastor, under the circumstances.” The pastor responded “Whatever are you doing under there?”
The therapy of thanksgiving can lead us out from under our circumstances and into the peace of God.
Dick Woodward, 02 September 2009
September 26, 2014
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
The founding elder of the first church I pastored was a home builder. He did excellent work. When a couple wanted him to build their home he took them to a beautiful home he had built and said to them, “By the grace of God this is my workmanship.” Ephesians 2:20 says to all followers of Christ that our risen living Christ would like to point to each of us and say: “This is My workmanship!”
We are all a work of Christ in progress. In addition to that thought this verse states that when we came to faith and were saved by grace through the faith our Lord gave us, He created us for good works. In fact we’re told that before He saved us He already planned that we would do those works for Him.
I don’t know about you but that truth excites and inspires me greatly! We’re so selfish and self-centered that when we come to faith our focus is often on what trusting Christ to be our Savior will mean to us. Many followers of Christ have the attitude “What have You done for me lately?” The Apostle Paul had the right vision when he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and asked the question, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?”
As a follower of Christ have you been asking and seeking to know what works your Lord and Savior planned for you to do when He saved you by grace? Are you asking each day, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?
Dick Woodward, 08 March 2010