WHERE IS YOUR HEART?

October 6, 2017

 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.(Matthew 6:19-21)

Jesus told us we should not lay up treasures on earth where they depreciate and where thieves can steal them from us. He told us we should lay up treasures in heaven, in the spiritual dimension, where they will not depreciate or be stolen. He added that our hearts will be where our treasures are. In other words, Jesus told us, “If you really want to know where your heart is, show me your treasures.”

A practical application of this, if you really want to know where your heart is, look over your check stubs and calendars for the past five years. Consider how you are spending your money and time. Then you will know where your treasures are, and where you heart is.

Millions of people are crushed and depressed these days because they have lost their treasures on Wall Street where greedy and corrupt men have stolen them. If their hearts were in their treasures on earth, and the way they were laying up treasures on earth, they need to listen to and understand Jesus as He tells us where our hearts should be.

Where is your heart?

Dick Woodward, 15 October 2008


Ability and Availability

September 19, 2017

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9)

A myth often believed today goes something like this: “God uses super-duper people to do super-duper things because they are super-duper people.” The truth is the exact opposite. Throughout Scriptures God uses many ordinary people to do extraordinary things because they are available.

As a pastor I’ve often observed people who are long on ability are often short on availability, while people who are short on ability are often long on availability. The exhortation in Scripture comes down to this: whether we are long or short on ability, the important thing is that we become long on availability.

In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, we find the miracle of the “Feeding of the Five Thousand.” As Jesus fed this great multitude, He passed the fragments of bread and fish through the hands of His disciples to all the hungry people.

Where did Jesus get the bread and fish? Simon Peter’s brother, Andrew, discovered a little boy who was willing to give up his lunch, something like five little biscuits and two sardines. “What are they among so many?” In the hands of Jesus, enough.

When God is in something, little is much when placed in the hands of Jesus.

I challenge you with the vision of a little boy who placed what little he had in the hands of Jesus. Many of us say we would give to the cause of Christ and serve Him if we had much to give or great abilities to serve. We must see, however, that our stewardship is not based upon what we do not have, but upon what we have.

God is looking for people who can take whatever they have and place it in the hands of Jesus.

Dick Woodward, (MBC Report, Fall 1993)


MINE, MINE, MINE vs. GOD’S

November 8, 2016

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful… And what do you have that you did not receive? (1Corinthians 4: 2, 7)

The biblical word “steward” is not fully understood or appreciated.  It is actually one of the most important words in the New Testament.  A synonym for this word is “manager.” Many people believe this word primarily relates to a person’s money, but that application falls far short of the essential meaning of this word.

Paul asks the probing question: “And what do you have that you did not receive?”  He is telling us that our stewardship applies to everything we have received from God. This means our time, energy, gifts and talents, our health and all the things that make up the essence of our very life, including all of our money and possessions.

At the age of 65 my best friend, a very successful businessman, had what he refers to as a “halftime” experience when he came to fully appreciate this word steward. His regular custom was to draw a line down the middle of the top page of a legal pad. On the left side of that line he wrote, “My Business,” while on the right side of the line he wrote, “God’s Business.” When he fully appreciated this word, steward, he erased that line because he realized it was all God’s business.

Remember, the important thing about stewardship is that we be found faithful.  Do you realize there is nothing in your life you did not receive from God?  Do you know that you are to faithfully manage everything you have received from God?  Are you willing to have a halftime experience and erase the line between what is yours and what is God’s?

Dick Woodward, 10 June 2010


A Prescription for Contentment

December 4, 2012

“… who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this.” (1Timothy 6:5-11)

In this passage of Scripture Paul gives a profound prescription for contentment.  It comes in the form of a warning about the wrong attitude toward riches.

He issues a strong warning to those who seek contentment through wealth accumulation.  He is often misquoted when people say “Money is the root of all evil.” Paul actually wrote that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”  He also warns that those who have a strong desire to be rich can fall into a trap that can ruin them and cause them to experience great grief and sorrow.  Have you experienced grief and sorrow in your family because of money?

On the positive side Paul writes that godliness with contentment is great gain.  He therefore challenges Timothy to pursue Godliness.  If we attain godliness we can be content with as little as food and clothing.  Are you a contented person?  Work on your pursuit of godliness and your attitude toward riches.

I have a small plaque by the side of my bed that reads: “He who lives content with little possesses everything.”