Power and Purpose

July 5, 2014

“For… through Him… are all things…” (Romans 11:36)

The Apostle Paul concludes Romans with a profound benediction that God is the power behind all things.  This claim is preceded by his declaration that God is the Source of all things and it is followed by his announcement that the glory of God is the purpose for all things.

I resonate in a special way with the middle part of his benediction because I have been experiencing chronic fatigue since 1978.  As a bed fast quadriplegic I now have no strength of my own, so it is impossible for me to be involved in the work of God unless God is the Power behind all the work He wants me to do for Him in this world.

It is the plan of God to use the power of God in the people of God to accomplish the purposes of God according to the plan of God. The Bible is filled with stories that illustrate this proposition.  To this end we continuously read that God delights in doing extraordinary things through very ordinary people while He uses His power in them to accomplish His purposes.

Sadly, many people think God cannot use them because they are just ordinary people.  But the more ordinary we are increases the glory God receives when He works through us.  God can anoint our tool kit and our skill set when we surrender our will to His.  He can also add spiritual gifts to our lives we do not have before we bring our ordinariness to Him and lay it at His feet.

Are you willing to do that and prove that God is the power behind all things?

Dick Woodward,  12 October 2010


Why Are You Here?

March 12, 2013

“What are you doing here, Elijah?”  (1 Kings 19: 9)

I find great meaning in the questions God asks people in the Bible.  On our journeys of faith our loving God sometimes needs to ask us this question He asked Elijah.  Where we place the emphasis in a statement can sometimes completely change its meaning.  For example, we can say, “A woman, without her, man is lost!”  Or we can say, “A woman without her man is lost!  Using the very same words we can communicate two very different meanings.

God’s question to Elijah might have been “What are you doing here Elijah?” Or the question could simply have been “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

A very godly saint was named Bernard.  A dog was named after him and so we usually think of a dog when we hear his name.  He wrote this question on the inside of the door that led from his tiny cell out into the world: “What are you doing here, Bernard?”

It would be a good idea for us to have that thought engraved on the inside of our door so that every time we leave our home we would be confronted with our vision statement.  It would be a good question to have engraved where we would see it as we leave our churches every time we worship or are inspired by great preaching and teaching.

It would also be a good question to ask and answer as we enter our places of business.  Our workplace is where God has strategically placed us to be and have an impact for Christ in this world.  We should, therefore, begin every day there with this question:

“What are you doing here?”


A Fruitful Legacy

January 20, 2012

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” (John 15:16 NIV)

Jesus had been with the apostles for three years when He spoke these words.  It was as if these men had been in a three-year seminary with Jesus with no days off  – no weekends, holidays or summers.  It was just Jesus 24/7.  He was now about to be arrested and suffer all the things Mel Gibson so graphically portrayed in his film about the Passion of Jesus Christ.

These words must have fallen like a bombshell on these men.  They had all made choices.  But He now informed them that He had made the choices.  He had chosen them.  They had not chosen Him.  He chose them for a purpose.  That purpose was that they were to be fruitful.  They were to bring forth fruit that lasts.

That is the definition of what we call a legacy or legacy giving.  A legacy is fruit that lasts long after we have gone home to be with God for all eternity.

By application, we do not choose Jesus and take Him into our plans.  He chooses us that He might take us into His plans.  It is not all about us – it’s all about Him. Jesus adds the commentary that when we understand this, God will start answering our prayers.

Mother Teresa told us that the only safe, sure, wise, and lasting investment is what we give to God.  Have you produced fruit for Christ that will last beyond your lifetime?  Wouldn’t you like to leave a legacy of lasting eternal values?


A Christmas Epiphany

December 20, 2011

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ …”  (Titus 2:11-13)

In these words of Paul to one of his pastors he is giving us a wonderful theological description of Christmas.  Paul writes of the appearing (epiphany) of the grace of God that brings salvation.  That is what happened on that first Christmas Eve.  He then writes of the glorious appearing (epiphany) of Jesus Christ in the Christmas that shall be.  He also calls that epiphany “the blessed hope.”

Then he writes of a third epiphany that shows us the purpose of that first Christmas Eve.  It also shows us our motivation for looking forward to the blessed hope of that epiphany to come.  He is writing of the appearing (epiphany) of God right now to this present age through the righteous and godly living of people who believe in all three of these epiphanies.

He goes on to write of God’s purpose in all this by explaining that God wanted to redeem for Himself a unique people who would be His own peculiar – in the sense of unique – people in this world.  This describes and summarizes the Christmas that was, that shall be, and that is right now.

The people who were involved in the Christmas that was were mostly holy and godly people.  Paul is writing here that those who are involved in the Christmas that is right now are people who are living soberly, righteously and godly lives.  Are you one of those peculiar people who are the epiphany that is?  By faith you can be.