Spiritual Secrets & Glorious Realities

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

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)

When You Want to Grow Spiritually

March 8, 2013

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…”  (Psalm 4:1 KJV).

While I was learning that God is there, real and personal I met with one of my mentors after I experienced the divine presence of God in a mighty way.  I told Paris Reidhead, “My cup is just running over, Paris!” His response to me was: “How big is your cup, Dick?  It doesn’t take much to run over a thimble.  Why don’t you ask God to turn your thimble into a cup, your cup into a bucket, and your bucket into a truckload?”

I did pray that prayer, fervently.  At that time I did not know that according to the verse above God’s vehicle for that kind of growth is distress.  If you want to know what distress is just drop the first two letters:  God uses stress to grow us spiritually just as putting stress on our muscles grows us physically.

Over the next few years I found myself going through deep waters and fiery trials.  When we had three toddlers and two in diapers my wife was hospitalized four times in one year in a hospital 100 miles away from our home.  While I was the pastor of a church and the mother and father of our children the Lord enlarged me, big time!

Years later I lost my health and became a bed fast quadriplegic. That is when I really learned my “4 Spiritual Secrets” which have enabled me to minister beyond anything I could have imagined.  Those secrets are written on this webpage.

When you want to grow spiritually I dare you to ask God to turn your thimble into a cup, your cup into a bucket and your bucket into a truckload.

The Secret Things

July 26, 2012

The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that He has revealed to us that we may obey…” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT)

According to Moses, there are secrets God has determined to keep secret.  (Perhaps these secrets are on a need to know basis.)  However, the things God wants us to do, He has made very plain through His Word, especially the Living Word, His beloved Son.  But, if God has willed to remain silent about His secrets, it would be pompous arrogance for us to say we can answer all the “why” questions regarding our suffering.

Where did we ever get the idea that we should expect to understand everything that happens to us?  Where did we ever get the absurd notion that God owes us an explanation for everything He has done and is doing in our world and in our lives?  If God gave us an explanation for everything and the answers to all of our “why” questions, the very essence of faith and the need for faith would be eliminated.

Almighty God has willed that without faith we cannot please Him, or come to Him (Hebrews 11:6).  God is pleased when we echo these words of Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15 NKJV).  In my own words, God is pleased when we come to Him in our crucibles of suffering and cry, “If you heal me, that’s all right.  But, if you don’t heal me, that’s all right, too, because You are all right!”

Can you say you are all right because He is all right? Can you leave the secret things with Him?