Walking with Jesus: Doing & Knowing!  

June 21, 2022

This is how we know we are in Him: whoever claims to live in Him must walk even as Jesus walked.” (1 John 2:5-6)

In the first sixteen verses of his short letter, the Apostle John gives us a prescription for fullness in seven parts: facts, faith, forgiveness, fellowship, follow-ship, fruitfulness, and fullness.

John’s facts are the death and resurrection of Jesus. When we have faith to believe the first fact we have forgiveness. When we believe the second the result is fellowship with the risen Christ. By changing one letter in the word “fellowship” to “follow-ship,” I have come up with the key to John’s prescription for fullness: you will know that you know when you walk as Jesus walked.

This word follow-ship is also a key to the fullness emphasized by Jesus. His covenant with the apostles was “Follow Me and I will make you.” (Matthew 4:19) The most important part of the Great Commission occurred when Jesus commissioned the disciples to make disciples. (Matthew 28:18-20) A synonym for discipleship is apprenticeship. Jesus apprenticed the apostles and He commissioned them to apprentice disciples.

The Gospel of John Chapter 7 records a great claim of Jesus when He declared that His teaching is the teaching of God. Jesus also proclaimed we prove that when we do what He teaches. (John 7:17) According to Jesus the doing leads to the knowing. Intellectuals have claimed for millenniums that the knowing will lead to the doing, but Jesus said “When you do you will know.”

Are you willing to do that you might know the Word of God?

Dick Woodward, 18 June 2011


A Prayer for Comfort

June 14, 2022

“Thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is our Father and the source of all mercy and comfort. For He gives us comfort in our trials…” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Suffering can drive us to God in such a way that we make this great discovery: God is here and God can comfort us.

There is supernatural quality of comfort that can be found in simply knowing God. When you undergo a life-threatening surgery and you, completely alone, are being placed under the bright lights, remember that God is the ultimate source of the greatest comfort you can experience in this lifetime.

Many of us have known people we love very much who are depressed and oppressed. They are nearly always alone and their pain is so intensely private they do not want any of the caring people in their lives to be with them. Others believe their suffering is so personal they must place themselves in self-imposed solitary confinement.

If that happens to you, I challenge you to make this discovery: God is here, and God can comfort you.

Father of all mercy and comfort, make me know personally that You are the source of all comfort. Comfort me in my pain.

When I feel alone and depressed, may I discover that You are here, You are real, and You can comfort me. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Dick Woodward


#FAITH: WHAT ARE YOU?

May 20, 2022

“… He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas (which is translated ‘Peter.’)  (John 1:42)

When Jesus first met Peter, his name was Simon and his life was characterized by instability. Yet Jesus gave him the nickname “Peter,” which means “rock” andstability.”

In Matthew 16 we have an intriguing interview between Jesus and Peter. Jesus had done the “who are you?” question in reverse. He asked the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter came up with the right answer. The Lord then said in so many words, “That answer really didn’t come from you. It came from My Father.”

In this interview Jesus was telling Peter who and what Peter was, and what he was being called to be. In the Gospels Peter’s life is recorded like a spiritual roller coaster. But after Jesus called Peter a ‘rock’ for three years and after Peter experienced Pentecost, we read in Acts that this unstable man became the rock-like, stable leader of the New Testament Church.

When you read the Gospels and Acts, you realize Jesus was convincing Peter of what he could become because he had come to know Jesus as his Savior.

Do you hear the voice of the Christ Who lives in your heart trying to give you His answer to this question, “What are you?” Is Jesus making you know what you can become and do for Him since He has made you a new creation? Is Jesus making you know what He can equip you to become as He is calling you and revealing what He wants you to be and do for him?

Dick Woodward, A Spiritual Compass


Highways for God

May 17, 2022

“Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!” (Isaiah 40:3)

 In ancient times if a king wanted to travel to a faraway province in his kingdom they would build a highway for him.  While they were working on that project they called it “The Kings Highway.” Isaiah is using that metaphor to say that God is going to travel into this world on a Highway that will be the life of the Messiah.

When you build a highway you do four things: level mountains, fill valleys, straighten crooked places, and you smooth out rough places. In the life of God’s Son the Messiah the mountains of pride will be completely leveled, the empty valleys will be filled with the Holy Spirit all the time, the crooked ways of sin will be straightened, and He will respond to the rough places in a way that will bring glory to His Father and salvation to the world.

After spending three years 24/7 with a dozen men, Jesus challenged them that in precisely the way His Father had sent Him into the world, He was sending them into the world in the same way. (John 20:21) One of many practical applications to that challenge for them, and for us, is that our life is also to be a highway for God.

I challenge you, in fact I dare you to pray this prayer: God, make my life a highway for You!” If you do this, don’t be surprised when God’s spiritual bulldozers show up in your life leveling your mountains of pride and filling your emptiness with the Holy Spirit, making straight your crooked places and smoothing out your rough places.

Dick Woodward, 15 May 2011


Waiting on the Lord

May 6, 2022

“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

We must learn the difference between what we can do and what only God can do. We must have faith to wait on our Heavenly Father until He empowers and enables us to do what He desires.

I have summarized waiting on the Lord in Four Spiritual Secrets: I’m not, but He is; I can’t, but He can; I don’t want to, but He wants to; and I didn’t, but He did.’ 

These spiritual secrets affirm that it is not a matter of who we are, but Who God is; it’s not a matter of what we can do, but what God can do; it’s not a matter of what we want, but what God wants. If these first three secrets are in place, we will know the joy of one day looking back and affirming it was not a matter of what we did, but what God did through us.

When I first began learning these spiritual secrets, I’d say, “I can’t, but He can.” Then, as a mover and shaker, I’d look at my watch, “I’ll give God five minutes, and if He doesn’t, I will!”

It took 40 years and a bush to teach Moses how to wait on the Lord, and it has taken 40 years for me to learn how to wait on the Lord the way an eagle waits on the wind.

Waiting on the Lord was not my style until my (quadriplegia) illness forced me to learn why an eagle sits on the side of its nest and waits until the wind currents are strong enough to soar over the winds of a storm.

Dick Woodward, As Eagles: How to Be an Eagle Disciple


Sharing the Gospel

April 29, 2022

“I want to remind you of the gospel…which you received and on which you have taken your stand… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day.” (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

Since most evangelism takes place today in the marketplace, it is imperative that we understand how to articulate the Gospel. A first step in that direction is realizing the Holy Spirit is the Evangelist and we are merely conduits through whom the Holy Spirit works.

When Jesus stayed up late with Nicodemus, the first words of Nicodemus were: “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do the works that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2) Jesus earned his hearing with Nicodemus by what he had seen Him do. Likewise, we must also earn our hearing with people.

This begins with our understanding that what we do demonstrates what we believe. All the rest is just religious talk. People are not interested in our religious talk unless they are impressed by what they see us do and are favorably impacted by what we are. It’s as if Nicodemus was saying he was impressed with what he had seen Jesus do, so he had come to hear the religious talk of Jesus. We deceive ourselves if we think it’s not that way today.

What I’m calling religious talk is our theological explanation of what we believe and why we believe it. This can be a negative if we overwhelm people with our theology. Many secular people don’t understand our complicated theological terms. Whether positive or negative, people will not be interested if they are not impressed with who and what we are and the things we do.

When we earn our hearing by the grace of God, the Gospel is simply two facts about Jesus Christ: He died for our sins and He rose again from the dead, just as the Old Testament Scriptures said He would and the New Testament Scriptures tell us He did.

There is something to believe and Someone to receive.

Dick Woodward, Marketplace Disciples


Christ’s Strength When We Are Weak

March 8, 2022

“And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

I shall never forget an afternoon in the late 1970s when I tried to mow my lawn and realized I was too weak to cut the grass. When I tried to replace the license plates on my car, I learned to my horror that I was too weak to do even that.

Although it was two years before I could accept the awful reality that I would never feel full strength again, my weakness made it possible to resonate with Paul in a deeper way when he described the way his weakness drove him to access the strength and power of the living risen Christ.

I have had times of such great weakness, especially while ministering from my wheelchair, when I’ve thought: There is absolutely nothing coming from me; everything is coming from God!

As God used Paul in mighty ways, he put into words what I have felt many times: “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God!” (2Corinthians 3:5. italics added)

These were merely familiar Scripture verses until I had no strength of my own.There is a dimension of the power and strength of Christ I did not discover until I was powerless. My experience of weakness forced me to discover that the strength of the risen living Christ outweighs my weakness.

Dick Woodward,  Happiness That Doesn’t Make Good Sense


#PRAYER: LORD, SAVE ME!

January 28, 2022

“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” (Matthew 14:30)

In the Bible the Apostle Peter is the only one besides Jesus Christ who walked on water. Yet millions only remember that he took his eyes off Jesus and would have drowned if Jesus had not saved him. We read Peter’s magnificent faith was flawed. He saw the wind. Since we cannot see wind this means when he saw what the wind was doing, he lost sight of what Jesus was doing and became afraid.

The remarkable thing here is that when he kept his eyes on Jesus, Peter walked on water!

It was not until he was beginning to sink that Peter cried out this prayer. Two thousand years later, this remains a go-to prayer for us through the storms of life. Jesus taught that our prayers should not be long. We should never think we will generate grace with God by our many words. (If Peter had made a longer prayer, the words beyond the third would have been glub, glub glub!)

When Jesus caught Peter by the hand He gave him the nickname, “Little Faith.” (I believe our Lord was smiling when He did.) He literally asked Peter: “Why did you think twice?”

While very ill the past two weeks many people have been recruited to pray for me. Yesterday it occurred to me that I had not prayed for myself. I then fervently pleaded this prayer: Lord, save me! In your spiritual walk, don’t think twice and don’t be of little faith. Instead, learn to plead this prayer, and soon you will find your way through the stormy waves of life walking on water.

Dick Woodward, 28 January 2014


God’s Ways & Our Ways

January 25, 2022

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

In one of the most important chapters of the Bible Isaiah shared what we might call his “philosophy of ministry.”  Isaiah, who is called “The Prince of the Prophets,” declared that he preached the Word of God because there is as much difference between the way God thinks and acts and the way we think and act, as the heavens are high above the earth.  Isaiah believed the Word of God can bring about an alignment between the thoughts and ways of God and our thoughts and ways. 

As an application to Isaiah’s profound declaration, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, asked the question, “If our steps are ordered by the Lord, how can we always expect to understand the way we are going?” (Proverbs 20:24)

It is so important that we have this profound truth declared by Isaiah engraved in our minds: God does not think and act as we do! This is especially true when we are baffled by events and circumstances that overwhelm us and obsess us with “Why” questions.

A devout Christian surgeon I know says, “The word we use most in this life is ‘Why.’ And the word we’re going to use most in the next dimension is ‘Oh!’”  That’s because when we have eternal perspective on this life we are now living, in time we will say “Oh” when we see why God’s thoughts and ways are higher and better than the way we think and act.

Dick Woodward, 25 January 2011


Finding Joy (no matter what!)

October 22, 2021

“…for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:11-13)

In this epistle of joy to the Philippians, Paul exhorts us, “Delight in Jesus. Learn to derive your joy from knowing Him.” He uses the word joy again and again and again. And what he’s really saying to us in the conditions in which he’s living is simply this, “Learn to derive your joy from your relationship to Jesus Christ. Learn to delight in Him.”

What is the source of your happiness? In what do you delight? Now again, if you delight in your health, well, you’re on thin ice. What would you do if you lost your health? If you delight in money, what would you do if you lost everything? If you delight in your loved ones, and many, many people do, what are you going to do when you lose them?

It’s because God loves us that God tells us things like this, “Delight in Me. Learn to derive your joy from knowing Me.” That’s the source of joy. And so that should be our delight.

That’s the reason Paul could have peace, even in a dungeon, even when he was in prison, no matter what the circumstances were. The reason he could say, “I’m ready for anything. I have learned how to live when everything’s good and I have learned how to live when everything’s bad.” 

Here is one of the big keys: Paul’s delight was in Jesus, and the Jesus was the Source of his happiness. Not what he had or didn’t have.

Dick Woodward, (Ben Lippen, 1979)