God’s Revelations to (& through) Us

April 27, 2018

“The heavens declare the glory of God… The Law of the Lord is perfect… May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight…” (Psalm 19: 1, 7, 14)

In Psalm 19 David writes that every day and every night God is preaching a sermon through the heavenly bodies. The text of that sermon is the glory of God. The firmament, the space in which those bodies exist, is also preaching a sermon.

Space preaches to us about the infinite size of God.

David’s thoughts then turn to the special revelations of God. That’s what theologians call the Word of God and David calls the Law of God. David is impressed and impresses us with what the Word of God can do: convert the soul, enlighten the eyes, and make wise the simple. God’s Word can rejoice the heart and it will endure forever. So, too, will the one whose soul has been converted by the Word. As David meditates on what the Word can do, he claims that the Word is more to be desired than pure gold.

Having reflected on what we might call “Natural Revelation” and “Biblical Revelation,” he next guides us to consider “Personal Revelation.”  His thought is that God’s revelation through nature is magnificent and beautiful. God’s revelation through Scripture is miraculous and perfect.

But what about God’s revelation through people like you and me?

Another thing Scripture does is warn us about willful sins that mar the revelation of God through us.

Are we willing to track with David through these three ways God speaks and then pray that God’s revelation through us will be acceptable in God’s sight?

Dick Woodward, 26 April 2010


Yours is the Glory

August 26, 2016

“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed by Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”  (Matthew 6:9-13)

As we face the challenges of life every day, we should be poor in spirit enough to confess that we need the power of God.  When I have entered a challenging day, I have confessed thousands of times in my journey of faith and ministry, “I can’t, but God can.”  Jesus prescribes for our prayers the mandate that we are to confess to God that the results of our answered prayers are in in place because the power of God has worked in answer to our prayers.

We are to conclude our prayers by essentially confessing, “Yours is the glory.” When we apply this third providential benediction to our prayers, we are simply confessing, “Because I didn’t but God did, all the glory goes to God.”  Along with our confessions about the kingdom and power of God, Jesus prescribes that we conclude our prayers by making this solemn commitment to God: the glory for everything that happens in my life because You have answered my prayers will always go to You.

The essence of this benediction is: “Because the power will always come from You, the result will always belong to You, and the glory will always go to You.”

“Amen” simply means, “So be it!”

Dick Woodward, A Prescription for Prayer (p.44-45)


October 25th: Purposeful Benedictions

October 24, 2015

For… to Him are all things… To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” ..(Romans 11:36)

The Apostle Paul concluded the argument of his greatest theological masterpiece with an inspired benediction in which he declared that God is the Source of all things, He is the Power behind all things and the Glory of God is the purpose for all things.

When Paul puts these two words “all things” together, he is referring to all the things he has written about in his letter to believers in the city of Rome.  He then concludes his inspired and the most comprehensive explanation of the Gospel ever written by quoting Isaiah: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments (decisions) and His ways past finding out!” That is followed by his benediction as referenced above.

I come to this truth on the day when many who love me are celebrating my 80th birthday.  A secular motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie, wrote that the most beautiful sound in the world to a man is the sound of his own name.  I disagree with him because there is a sense in which I do not even like the sound of my name.  To me the most beautiful sound in the world is the name of Jesus Christ because apart from Him I would be a zero with the circle rubbed out.

As I reflect on Paul’s benediction I have made the commitment that I do not want to pour my life into any venture unless I am certain that God is the Source of it, He is the Power behind it and the glory of God is its purpose.  How does this benediction impact your mindset?

Dick Woodward, 25 October 2010

Editor’s Note: As many of you know, Papa’s birthday is October 25th. This year he would have turned 85.  Oh how we miss him(!) but today, as stated in this post 5 years ago, when we remember Papa, he would have us dwell in the Name of Jesus Christ & be challenged by Paul’s benediction – is God the source & power behind what we’re doing? Is God’s glory the purpose for what we do?


Facing Calamities

January 16, 2015

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

These familiar words of consolation and exhortation are found in the context of a great calamity described by the psalmist. Many believe this calamity is prophetic and relates to the great and terrible Day of the Lord. By application these words, and other words of consolation in this psalm, can be related to any calamity we experience as the people of God.

As the hymn writer declares this calamity to be a total devastation, in the midst of this devastation he exclaims, “God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in times of trouble.” Since Hebrew is not as precise as Greek, the New American Standard Bible offers helpful alternate readings in the margins throughout this psalm. The alternate reading offered here consoles us with the thought that God can be a very present help to us in our “tight places.”

The helpful alternate reading presented alongside verse 10 is “Relax, let go and prove that God is – and what His will is. He is God and He wills to be exalted among the nations and in the earth.”

When you find yourself experiencing calamity be still long enough to experience these great realities: that God is God, that He is there for you, and that He can help you in the tight places of your calamity. So relax, let go, and prove Him. Then ask yourself how your response to your calamity just might align with what He wills; that He might be exalted among the nations and in the earth through the way you live your life here on earth for His Glory.

Dick Woodward, 10 March 2009


Examining our Hearts

September 2, 2014

Search me, Oh God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”  (Psalm 139:23-24)

David showed great spiritual wisdom when he prayed this prayer.  He asked God to take the lid off his mind and show him the thoughts that should not be there.  He then asked God to take the lid off his heart because he wanted to see the motives that should not be in his heart.  He prayed this prayer of self-examination because he wanted to walk in the everlasting way.  Another way of saying the same thing is that David wanted God to purify his thoughts and  motives because he wanted to be the man God created and re-created him to be…

Paul closes his second letter to the Corinthians with a verse that has a cluster of challenges regarding how they are to think of themselves. If you compare several translations of this verse (2 Corinthians 13:5), you will realize that these challenges can be summarized and paraphrased into just three:  “EXAMINE yourself, whether you are in the faith; PROVE yourself that you are an authentic disciple of Christ.  And KNOW yourself, how that Jesus Christ is in you.” …

Paul wrote to the Colossians that God called him to share a spiritual secret with the Church: Christ in our hearts is our only hope of bringing glory to God.  (Colossians 1:24-29)  In this great passage he writes that sharing this secret is his life’s work and is worthy of all his life’s energies.   “Christ in you the hope of glory.”  He exhorts us to know by experience that Christ is in us and we are in Christ.

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Your Self


The Level of Decision

December 6, 2013

“… the Lord will not be with you!” (Numbers 14:43)

When pilots are landing a large commercial passenger jet they reach a point where they must commit to their landing.  They call that point of no return the LD, or the “level of decision.”

God is very patient and full of mercy and grace.  However, the chapter quoted above tells us there is an LD in our journeys of faith.  There is a point where we either do, or do not, commit to doing the will of God.

God will lean on us like an elephant to get us to see and do His will.  However, He reaches a point where He will let us have it our way.  When God lets us do our own thing we suffer great loss.  For starters, we forfeit the present purpose of our salvation.  We all know we are not saved by good works but we can lose the opportunity to do the works for which God has saved us (Ephesians 2:10).

When the Israelites chose not to do the will of God, Moses said: “The Lord will not be with you!”  Perhaps the saddest word in the Hebrew Old Testament is the word “Ichabod.” It means “the glory has departed” and teaches that God sometimes withdraws anointing power from His people.

There is such a thing as the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for your life and mine (Romans 12:1, 2).  The book of Numbers solemnly presents two options: after being delivered from our “Egypt” we can go around in circles for 40 years, or we can commit to doing the will of God.

Are you making a wise commitment in your spiritual LD, or are you waiting for the glory to depart?


Motive Judgment

May 31, 2013

“When the Lord comes, He will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.” (1 Corinthians 4:5 NLT)

According to the Apostle Paul, before all our works are evaluated God is going to reveal the private and secret motives of our heart.  Since that is an ultimate and certain reality it would be the better part of wisdom for us to pray about the motives of our heart on a regular basis.  We should also touch this issue of motives as we consider the will of God for our life.

THE SIXTH STEP:  Examine the motives of your heart as you seek to know the will of God.

Why do you want to know the will of God for your life?  That is an important question.  We are incredibly egocentric and self-centered creatures.  We naturally come to every situation with the inherent question in our hearts, what is in this for me?

The Word of God associates our motives with our hearts and the Bible tells us that above all things our hearts are deceitful.  Jeremiah tells us our hearts are so deceitful only God can know them (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  Do you want to know the will of God for the glory of God, or for your own glory and personal gain?  Your answer to that question will be very important to God and to you when your works are evaluated at the judgment seat of Christ.  The motives of your heart should therefore be very important to you today and every day that you live.

We should all pray with David:  “Search me, oh God, and know my heart… and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)