October 24, 2014
“Wrapped in a bundle of life with God…” (I Samuel 25:29)
These words of Scripture are often found inscribed on gravestones of children who died at a very early age, especially in Jewish cemeteries where Jewish mothers expressed the almost inexpressible feelings of their hearts as they laid their children to rest.
As Christians we could also inscribe these words on the gravestones of our children and adult loved ones because they should bring great comfort and consolation to us as we think of those we have lost through sickness and death. However, if we think about it, these words should also be applied to our loved ones while they are still living. The most exciting truth in the New Testament is presented in just two words: “In Christ” or “In Him.”
Jesus told the apostles that after His death and resurrection He would give them the divine presence of the Holy Spirit. They would then be able to be “in Him” the way a branch is in a vine. That means all of us can be wrapped in a bundle of life with Christ as we live our lives in this world. What an exciting concept! Jesus told the apostles, and you and me, all about this in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. He even told us how to abide in Him and experience the miracle of Him abiding in us. He told us we can abide in Him and He will abide in us if we abide in His Word.
I challenge you that if you abide in His Word today you will find yourself wrapped in a bundle of life with God!
Dick Woodward, 23 September 2010
Editor’s Note: Many of you may remember (since he usually celebrated all month) October 25th was Dick’s birthday – this year he would have turned 84. We do miss him! But, oh, how we thank God for the 83 years of Papa’s life that touched the hearts of so many, especially as he shared his deep love of the Scriptures. As he was (& is) ‘wrapped in a bundle of life with God,’ may we continue to wrap our lives in Christ with deep, daily doses of the Living Word.
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Posted by Dick Woodward
August 22, 2014
“… And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” (Colossians 1:27 NLT)
The most important teaching in the New Testament is that Jesus Christ died for our sins. The most dynamic teaching in the New Testament is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and He lives in us. According to the Apostle Paul, the glorious reality that the risen Christ lives in us gives us the assurance that we can glorify God.
To glorify God means to do that which pleases God. At the end of His perfect life Jesus made the statement, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You gave me to do.” (John 17:4) In one of His most profound metaphors, Jesus taught that it is possible for us to be at one with Him the way a branch is at one with a Vine. (John 15:1-16)
It is only because I am in Him and He is in me, like a branch is in a Vine, that I can hope and pray to come to the end of my life exclaiming, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You gave me to do.”
This means the Risen Christ is a Vine looking for branches today. Are you willing to be one of those branches? When you become one, or if you already are a branch, are you finding and finishing the work He wants you to do for Him that glorifies His Father God?
Dick Woodward, 24 May 2010
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Posted by Dick Woodward
August 9, 2013
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The applications of our Lord’s metaphors are almost endless. One application to the metaphor above is that for our candle to give light it must be consumed. Unlighted candles are not consumed, but the candles that shine are the candles that burn. There is no shining without burning.
In another great metaphor Jesus told us there is no such thing as a fruitless disciple of His. We are like branches and He is the Vine. As branches, if we are properly intersected with Him, we can draw from Him the life force to be fruitful. He promised if we are plugged into Him and are fruitful we will be cut back and pruned to be made more fruitful. Cutbacks and pruning can really hurt. They can come in the form of suffering but they improve the quality and the quantity of our fruit.
In light of these very clear teachings we should not be surprised when we find ourselves burning through suffering that our brightest light for Christ yields the best fruit.
Like many others I thought my most fruitful years were when I was able bodied and active. But I have been joyfully surprised to discover that my most fruitful service for Christ has been as a bed fast quadriplegic. Using voice activated computer software from my bed, 782 Bible studies have been produced and are being heard in 31 languages in 60 countries. Worldwide more than 45,000 small groups are listening to our studies on solar powered digital audio players I call “God pods.”
Have you discovered there is no shining without burning?
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Posted by Dick Woodward