Highways for Jesus Christ

September 26, 2017

“…the voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:4-6)

In ancient times, when a king wanted to visit a distant town in his kingdom, a highway was built on which he could travel called The King’s Highway. According to Isaiah and John the Baptist, the highway on which God came into this world is the perfect life of the Messiah: in Him mountains of pride were leveled, empty valleys filled completely with the Holy Spirit, crooked ways of sin made perfectly straight, and rough spots made smooth – especially through His response to the cross.

I like to think of John the Baptist introducing Jesus, “Here He is! Here is the highway on which God is traveling into this world!”

After 33 years Jesus told the apostles celebrating Passover with Him that he was going to leave this world. After His death and resurrection, He told these same apostles, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21)

By application, Jesus told the apostles that just as He came into this world to be a highway for God, the apostles were also to live their lives as highways for God.

God wants our lives to be highways on which He can travel into our marketplaces. This is intensely true when we are suffering. How does this happen? Our lives can become highways for God when we pray this prayer every day:

Oh God, make my life a highway on which You can travel into this world and show Your salvation to the people I’m with, and do business with, today.

Dick Woodward, Marketplace Disciples (p.283-284)


Perfect Peace: Christ in You

October 6, 2016

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Isaiah wrote of a state of perfect peace in which God can keep us, continuously. However, he also wrote that this state of continuous serenity is based on two very important conditions: we must keep our minds centered on God, and we must trust God. This peace is supernatural because it’s a peace we can have even when the circumstances of our lives are chaotic.

Jesus promised that He would give His followers a peace the world would never understand because it comes from Him and can be ours even in the middle of our storms of life. The early followers of Christ were persecuted. While suffering unimaginable cruelty at the hands of their persecutors many died at peace because they had this kind of supernatural peace.

The Apostle Paul believed in this peace. In just one chapter of one of his letters he listed twelve conditions on which this peace is based. In another letter Paul described this peace as fruit – the expression of the reality that the Holy Spirit lives in authentic disciples of Jesus. We might therefore conclude that the basic condition for this peace is that the Holy Spirit lives in us.

“Christ in you” is the foundation on which all the conditions of this peace are to be built (Colossians 1:27 LB).  I have a question I want to ask you. There is obviously something to believe and Someone to receive when you become a follower of Jesus Christ. My question is: have you received Him?

Dick Woodward, 15 May 2009


The Word of God & God’s Purpose

May 26, 2015

My Word… will achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

In a marvelous chapter taken from the prophesy of the one called “The prince of the prophets,” Isaiah tells us why he preached the Word of God.  Earlier in this chapter he proclaimed that there is as much difference between the way we think and act and how God thinks and acts as the heavens are high above the earth.  He tells us he preached the Word of God because God’s Word can bring about an alignment between the way God thinks and acts and the way people think and act.

There is a strong emphasis in Scriptures on the importance of our will being in alignment with the will of God.  Jesus made his greatest prayer when He sweat drops of blood and prayed, “Not My will but Your will be done.” He taught His disciples and us to pray, “Your will be done in earth (or in their earthen vessels), as it is in heaven.”

The Word of God frequently describes the struggle between God and men like Moses, Job, Jonah, and many others who finally submit their will to the will of God  – and the will of God is done in and through them on earth as it is in heaven.  When God declares through Isaiah that His Word will not return to Him without accomplishing the purpose for which He sent it, I am convinced that this is the purpose God had in mind.

When you read, study and hear the Word of God proclaimed, will you let God accomplish this purpose for the Word of God?  Will you let the Word of God bring about an alignment between your will and the will of God?

Dick Woodward, 28 September 2010


What’s the “Good” in Good Friday?

April 3, 2015

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)

If you want to know what is good about Good Friday this verse in Isaiah 53 will tell you.  This verse describes with great clarity the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross when it begins and ends with the same word: “all.”  The verse begins with what we might call “the bad news.”  Isaiah tells us that all of us are like little sheep and have gone astray.  We have turned, every single one of us, to our own way.  If you want to know the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, agree that you yourself are included in that first all.

The all with which this verse concludes is what we might call “the good news.” Isaiah ends this verse by telling us that the penalty for all the things we have done after turning to our own way has been laid on Him (meaning Jesus).  I don’t know about you, but for me that is very, very good news!  If you and I will confess that we are included in the first and the last all in this great Gospel verse then we know what we need to know and we have done all we need to do to turn our bad news into good news.  And we know what is good about Good Friday.

If you want to make this Friday of Holy Week a Good Friday, believe what Isaiah has written.

Dick Woodward, 02 April 2010


Prayer Sighs, Prayer Tears

March 24, 2015

“I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.” (Isaiah 38:5)

In the mid 1950s, I made a discovery about prayer. When two or three of us were concerned about Joe, who was not doing well spiritually, I observed God working in Joe’s life in dynamic ways.  I concluded that we are praying even when we do not close our eyes, fold our hands and bow our heads.  I discovered that prayer is the sincere desire of our soul no matter how we express it.

Martin Luther told us that the sigh of a believer is a prayer.  He meant that when we come to the end of our hoarded resources and throw ourselves across a bed and sigh, or cry – that is a prayer.

God sent the Prophet Isaiah to tell a sick King Hezekiah that he was going to die.  Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and cried.  When God saw the tears of King Hezekiah, God sent Isaiah back to him with the message, “I have heard your prayer.  I have seen your tears.” And God added 15 years to his life.

When we express the sincere desire of our soul, which is often too deep for words, in tears or a sigh of despair – that is a prayer God hears and answers.  God has as much interaction with people in the waiting rooms of operating theaters in our hospitals as He has in the sanctuaries of our churches.

Realizing your tears and sighs of despair are one of God’s prescriptions for authentic prayer, will you offer them to God as the prayers of your heart?

Dick Woodward, 18 January 2011


A Strength Formula

February 26, 2014

“When I am weak then I am strong…” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

In these eight words the Apostle Paul gives us a strength formula.  When people are having a serious operation, instead of counting to 10 as the anesthesiologist administers the medicine that knocks them out, I suggest they say these eight words.  While most of us are ‘control freaks,’ after experiencing the full effects of anesthesia we give up all control.  But, as believers when we give up all control, we will find underneath the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)  This makes us stronger than we have ever been.

Paul, quoting Isaiah, writes the key to spiritual strength is that God gives strength to the weary and power to the weak. One translation reads that God’s strength looks good on weak people.  The key to spiritual strength is therefore not found in our strength but in our weakness. These eight words are therefore the formula for strength.  They will give you great spiritual strength in your time of absolute weakness.  Discover with the Apostle Paul that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, not in trying to make ourselves strong.  We find our greatest strength in the Everlasting Arms that are there underneath us.

Prove what Isaiah and Paul teach us.  The everlasting arms are there and they give us more strength than we have ever known as healthy active people.  The next time you experience weakness on any level of life remember to pray these eight words: “When I am weak then I am strong.”

You will soon find yourself saying, “I’m not but He is; I can’t, but He can;” and then, “I didn’t but He did” when you let God perfect His strength in your weakness.

Editor’s Note:  After a health hiatus from blogging, Papa (Dick Woodward) is back. We so appreciate the prayers that have lifted him up during abject weakness the past 6 weeks, beginning with a severe 2 week bronchial infection, a week in the hospital where he was treated for heart failure, and a severe 10-day stomach virus that has left him completely pooped out. Although only 30% of Papa’s heart now functions & for many days he couldn’t even speak, his strength and continued presence with us is totally by God’s miraculous grace.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

The Blog Posting Elf  (Dick’s daughter, Virginia)