Light and Salt in the Marketplace

December 6, 2016

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a candlestick, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:14-16)

I love Christmas lights! Where I live in Williamsburg, Virginia, one of the signature features of Christmas decorating is using white lights. We put our Christmas tree up for all of December because we enjoy the white lights so very much.

A very significant Christmas gift I received is a book I wrote this year that was delivered from the printer on the third of December. It’s called Marketplace Disciples. The thrust of this book’s message highlights the mandate Jesus gave His disciples to be the light of the world and salt of the earth.

The risen, living Christ uses the fact that we need to make a living to get the salt out of the salt shaker and the candles He has lighted on candlesticks of His choosing. We should impact the marketplace because we are authentic disciples of Jesus Christ. The values of Christ should revolutionize our ethics and the way we do business.

This year when you see the beautiful Christmas lights remember that Jesus said His light flowing through us cannot be hidden.

Dick Woodward, 17 December 2013

Editor’s Note: Marketplace Disciples, the last book my father wrote before he passed in March of 2014, is available through the website of ICM (International Cooperating Ministries.) It’s really a ‘best of Dick Woodward’s teachings’ and makes a nice Christmas present. (hint, hint)

You can click here for a direct link: Marketplace Disciples

The New Commandment

April 5, 2012

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.”   (John 13:1)

Jesus was celebrating the Passover with His apostles.  Luke writes that on the way to the upper room where they were to celebrate the Passover with Jesus the apostles argued about which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom Jesus promised.  What a shock it must have been when Jesus assumed the attire of a slave and washed their feet!

Having washed their feet He asked the question “Do you know what I have done to you?” His question is answered in the words quoted above.  The most dynamic characteristic of the personality of Jesus was love.  He had loved these men for three years in ways they had never been loved before in their entire lives.

He also answered His question by telling them that He had given them an example.  If He as their Lord and Teacher had washed their feet they should wash each other’s feet.  Then He made the connection between feet washing and love by giving them the New Commandment.  They were to love one another in the same ways He had loved them.  This would be the absolute credential that they were His disciples.

A New Commandment directed them to a New Commitment.  Each of them had made a commitment to Jesus but now they were to make a commitment to each other.  This new commitment established a New Community.  We call it the church.  The secular people said of the early church, “Behold how they love one another!”  If they made that charge today about your church or mine would there be enough evidence to convict us?

Oh Lord make it so!


The Original Talk Show

March 30, 2012

“… the just shall live by his faith.”   (Habakkuk 2:4)

 The prophet Habakkuk lived in one of the most difficult times in Hebrew history.  God gave him a prophetic message to preach when the Babylonians were about to conquer God’s people.  The watchtowers were manned with soldiers who were listening for the dreadful sounds of the Babylonian army.  This little prophet had witnessed the terrible ways the great Prophet Jeremiah was treated when he preached his message.  Being a simple choir director he could only imagine how he would be treated if he assumed the role of a prophet.

He therefore came up with a very clever literary form.  He proclaimed that he was going to build a spiritual watchtower and ask God all the difficult questions that were on their hearts at that time.  Questions like, “Why will you use a people more sinful than we are to chasten us?” He told them that when he heard from God he would tell them what God said in answer to these and other questions.  His literary form was like a talk show in which he was the host and God was the Guest being interviewed.

God’s answer was that the wickedness of the Babylonian would be their undoing, but the just would live by their faith.  Originally this meant faith in the prophecy of Jeremiah that they would return from the Babylonian captivity.  By application these seven words, which are quoted three times in the New Testament, were used to inspire the great protestant reformation.

People say God does not speak today as He did then.  The truth is we do not listen for God as this prophet did.  Do you have a spiritual watchtower? Do you listen for God and expect to hear from Him?