A New Commandment: Love One Another!!

April 16, 2016

“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 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 Jesus asked this question: “Do you know what I have done to you?”  The most dynamic characteristic of the personality of Jesus is 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 others’ 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 is 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!

Dick Woodward, 05 April 2012


Spiritual Wars

September 15, 2015

“Now the works of the flesh are…but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control.” (Galatians 5: 19, 22, 23)

One of the most important New Testament passages of Scripture is found in Galatians chapter five where Paul identifies a war that is taking place in the life of every authentic disciple of Jesus Christ: the war between the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh is “human nature unaided by God.”  According to Paul our human nature unaided by God is a monster and it produces what Paul labels “the works of the flesh.”

In contrast to a list of qualities that are like an immoral “train wreck” in slow motion, Paul gives us nine qualities that are the fruit and evidence of the reality that the Holy Spirit of God lives in us.

When we look in, Paul writes that we will find that we have a quality of love coming out of our life.  We will also find a quality of joy and a peace we’ve never experienced before.

For a cross section of this love we should consult verses 4-7 of First Corinthians 13.  We find it is a love that doesn’t make good sense because it is completely others-centered.  Our joy is a happiness that doesn’t make good sense and the same could be said of our peace because all three are not related to our circumstances.

There is something to believe and Someone to receive.  It is only when we receive God’s Holy Spirit that we can win the war between the flesh and the Spirit.

Dick Woodward, 19 November 2010


A Prescription for Burnout

January 30, 2015

“This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory.  And his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:11)

Jesus goes to a wedding and when they run out of wine, He creates more wine. In addition to the record of a miracle, this story is a formula for regeneration and a prescription for renewal.  There is tired and there is tired of.  Disciples of Jesus not only get tired – they get tired of.  We call this “burnout.”

I’m convinced this first miracle presents a prescription for burnout.  If you are experiencing the need of renewal consider this prescription.  Mary tells Jesus they have no wine.  Since wine is a symbol of joy in the Bible let this represent your confession that you need renewal because you are tired of, dry, and burned out.

Then block out some time to fill your human vessel with the Word of God as symbolized by the vessels being filled with water.  While you are filling up on the Word of God do whatever the Holy Spirit tells you to do.  Then realize that your renewal is not just to give you an experience, it is for the benefit of those God wants to touch and bless using you as His channel.

Let these four principles we learn from this miracle that first brought glory to Jesus and faith to His disciples bring renewal to you as you serve Jesus.  Our Lord often invited His apostles to come apart and rest awhile.  If you don’t come apart to rest at times and take this prescription of Jesus for your burnout – you will come apart.

Let Jesus turn your water into wine. 

Dick Woodward, 16 November 2011


How Are You Going to Spend Your Year?

January 3, 2014

“Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”  (Psalm 90:12, NLT)

According to Moses, we should realize that life is like a game of Monopoly.  We all begin with the same amount of currency.  When we begin a new year we are given 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week and 8,760 hours a year.  You often hear the remark: “I haven’t got time for that!” This implies that we are not given the same amount of time.  It would be more accurate to say: “I don’t value that activity enough to spend some of my time in that way.”

The dictionaries tell us a value is “that quality of any certain thing by which it is determined by us to be more or less important, useful, profitable and therefore desirable.” We all have a set of values.  We spend our time on the things we consider important, useful, profitable and desirable.

When we ask God to teach us how to spend our time He will challenge us to consider the values of Jesus Christ.  One of the many reasons He became flesh and lived among us for 33 years was to show us how to live.  He did that by presenting us with a set of values.  As we read the four Gospels and follow Jesus every time He models and teaches a value, that spiritual discipline will revolutionize the way we spend our time.

I challenge you to ask God, “How should I spend my time?” I also challenge you to let the values of Christ revolutionize the way you spend your time in 2014.


Christmas Lights

December 17, 2013

“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 men, 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 is 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 the salt of the earth.  A missionary statesman said that if the disciples of Jesus stick together with a fortress mentality, we are like manure. We stink!  But if we get spread around we do a lot of good.

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. That is why today most evangelism takes place in the marketplace.

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


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!