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)
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)