A Psalm 100 Thanksgiving Day!!

November 23, 2017

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100)

 In this profound thanksgiving psalm, David tells us that coming into the presence of God is like having an audience with a great King. That audience begins with the gates of thanksgiving, followed by the courts of praise. In a corporate worship service or in your closet worship, always try to begin your approach to God at the gates of thanksgiving followed by the courts of praise.

As a bedfast quadriplegic, I personally know of no other worship that means more to me than to begin my approach to God with thanksgiving. When I begin thanking Him and praising Him for all my blessings, I soon find myself coming before His presence with singing. In His presence I know that He is God. I know that He is my Shepherd and I am His sheep.  I know that He is good, His mercy is everlasting, and He wants me to share the truth of His Word in all the lands of this world because He wants people in all the lands of this world, and in every generation, to know what it is to make a joyful shout of worship in His presence.

Let this great worship psalm of David show you how to be thankful!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Dick Woodward, 23 November 2011


Worshiping God with Thanksgiving

November 21, 2017

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him…” (Psalm 100:4)

Psalm 100 is the definitive worship psalm that tells us what worship is, what we should experience when we worship, how to worship, what we know, and what the results should be because we worshipped.

According to David worship is coming before God’s presence, which is like having an audience with a King. Our approach to the presence of God begins at the gates of thanksgiving. This means that in a corporate worship service, or in our private closet worship, we are to begin our approach to the presence of God by passing through the gates of thanksgiving.

As I attempt to maintain my spiritual equilibrium as a bedfast quadriplegic, I get more spiritual mileage out of the therapy of thanksgiving than anything else. David has pointed me to the truth that when I begin thanking God, I soon find myself in the courts of praise coming into the presence of God with singing. In God’s presence, I know that He is God, I am His sheep and I live in His pasture. Then I’m told again that I should keep on thanking Him.

As a result of this worship experience, I know that God wants people in every land of this earth to know what it is to make joyful noises of worship in God’s presence. God also wants it to be known that His truth endures in all generations – not only in past generations.

To that end, God wants me to serve Him with gladness because I entered into His presence with thanksgiving.

Dick Woodward, 22 February 2012


PUT LOVE FIRST!

November 17, 2017

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love… I am nothing.”  (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

In the middle of the first century, the Apostle Paul declared that the agape love of God should be the number one priority of spiritual people. He wrote that love is greater than knowledge and more important than faith. His inspired words about love have been read, and should be read, in every generation of church history. That includes you and me.

Paul’s teaching about spiritual gifts in the previous chapter concludes with: “Earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I will show you a more excellent way.”  (ICor 12:31) Paul begins the next chapter with his prescription for that most excellent way: “Let love be your greatest aim,” or “Put love first.”

A PARAPHRASE APPLICATION:

If we speak with great eloquence or in tongues without love, we’re just a lot of noise. If we have all knowledge to understand all the Greek mysteries, the gift to speak as a prophet and enough faith to move mountains, unless we love as we do all these things, we are nothing. If we give all our money to feed the poor and our body to be burned at the stake as a martyr, if we give and die without love, it profits us nothing.

Nothing we are, nothing we ever become, nothing we have, and nothing we ever will have in the way of natural and spiritual gifts should ever move ahead of love as our first priority. Nothing we do, or ever will do as an expression of our faith, our gifts, our knowledge, or our generous, charitable, unconditionally-surrendered heart is worthy of comparison, or can replace love as we live out our personal priorities in this world.”

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Love


Transformed Wine: A Prescription for Renewal

November 14, 2017

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

When Jesus goes to a wedding and they run out of wine, He creates more wine. In addition to the record of a miracle, this story is also a prescription for renewal. There is tired and there is tired of.  Disciples of Jesus not only get tired – we often get tired of.  When this happens, we call it “burnout.”

I’m convinced this first miracle of Jesus presents a prescription for burnout. If you are experiencing the need for renewal, consider the miracle in this context. 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 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 doThen 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 from this miracle that 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 at times and take this prescription of Jesus for your burnout – you will come apart.

Let Jesus turn your water into wine. That will bring glory to Jesus and make a restored believer out of you!

Dick Woodward, 16 November 2011


Turning Water Into Wine

November 8, 2017

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

The transformation of water into wine at Cana was the first supernatural miracle of Jesus. In addition, this account of Jesus turning water into wine is a beautiful allegory that shows us how to be born again. Carefully and prayerfully read the story.

A first step is expressed in the words of Mary when she tells Jesus “they have no wine.”  Wine is a symbol of joy in the Bible. Mary’s statement is like a confession. Our first step in being born again is to confess that we have no wine (joy) and we need to be born again.

A second step in this formula is when Jesus tells the servants to fill the huge thirty- gallon jars with water. The Scripture is sometimes symbolized by water because of the way it cleanses. A devotional application here could therefore be that our second step toward regeneration is to fill our human vessel with the Word of God.

A third step is pictured when Mary tells the servants “do whatever Jesus tells you to do.” While we are filling our vessel with the Word we must do what it tells us to do.

The fourth step is when Jesus tells the servants to draw out what they had poured into the huge jars and serve it as wine. Precisely when did the water become wine?  I’m convinced it was when the servants had the faith to serve the water as wine

We are born again when we believe Jesus can turn our water into wine and show His glory through us.

Dick Woodward, 14 November 2011


Jesus In Us: Inspired Art Galleries

November 3, 2017

“So the Word became human and made his home among us.” (John 1:14)

The Gospel of John is like an inspired art gallery with every chapter a room filled with beautiful portraits of Jesus Christ hanging on the walls. The portrait in the first room is that of Jesus as the Word that became human to make His home among us.

If you want to communicate a great idea wrap it in a person. God does that all the way through the Bible. God communicates the concept of faith by wrapping it in the person of Abraham. God tells us what grace is by wrapping that beautiful concept in the person of Jacob.

What does it mean when we are told that Jesus is the Word?  A word is the vehicle of a thought. When I want to communicate thoughts that are in my mind to your mind, I use words as vehicles of my thoughts. God had ‘Thought’ that God wanted to express to this world. Jesus was like a beautiful comprehensive Word that expressed the Thought of God to this world – to you and to me.

Our loving Heavenly Father decided that an inspired written Word was not enough. He wanted us to see His expressed thought in human flesh and blood. He therefore became human and made His home with us so we could see and experience His expressed thought toward us.

The Word not only made His home among us through Jesus – He wants to make His home in us.  If He has done that for you, what great ideas does He want to communicate to others by wrapping them in your life?

Dick Woodward, 10 November 2011


How Are You, REALLY?

October 31, 2017

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16)

A long time ago when I lunched with a friend on Mondays, I always asked him, “How are you, Skip?”

“Great, wonderful, marvelous and tremendous!” he’d answer.  Always.

Many Mondays I’d not had a good weekend and life was not great, wonderful, marvelous, and tremendous for me. But this guy was always emphatically optimistic. After this pattern continued for some time, one Monday I asked him, “Tell me something. If everything wasn’t great, wonderful, marvelous, and tremendous, how would you answer my question?”

“Oh, I’d probably lie to you,” he responded.

I decided to rephrase my question. I asked, “How are you, really, Skip?”

He worked with a group of people who emphasized Scripture memory and they all memorized a verse each week.  “Frankly, if you really want to know,” he said, “My verse of the week is, ‘Hang it on your beak, freak!’” We then had some honest conversation, what I call reality contact.

This is what James had in mind – if we are honest with each other we will be burdened to pray for each other. If we’re not honest when we meet together, we will not pray for each other honestly. One translation reads that our honest prayers will explode with power!

We should have this kind of reality contact with a believer we trust.

How are you, really?

Dick Woodward, 01 November 2011