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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"I will not be afraid"

So we can feel sure and say, “The Lord is my helper;  I will not be afraid. People can do nothing to me.”
Hebrews 13:6 ERV

As Christians, what do we have to be afraid of? Nothing. Sometimes I think we live our lives in fear, even though we have no need to. I believe one of the reason we live so fearfully is because we live our lives by what we hear from the world, rather than what we should be hearing from God’s word.
Many of us have talk radio and TV news shows playing in the background and forefront of our lives all day, every day. We read the daily papers. The things we read, hear and see from those sources have more of a tendency to shape our thoughts and interaction with the world than God’s word does.
The thing we must realize is that what we expose ourselves to, is what we will emulate. In other words, whatever we take in is what will come out of us. If we spend our days listening to fear-mongers, we will live in fear.
Fear is debilitating, it is crippling. We are free in Christ, why would we want to become slaves to fear? “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 ESV
Courage will be found in the word of God, not in the rantings of fear-mongers. So today, turn off the radio, the TV and put down the newspaper and pick up a Bible. Read about the one that created everything and is still in control of everything. Trust in Him and His teachings. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 ESV.
Choose your master today. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 ESV

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, October 18, 2013

"If you wander"

If you wander from the right path, either to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, “You should go this way. Here is the right way.”
Isaiah 30:21 ERV

photo  ©2007  FarinelliMoi, Flickr

Words of comfort and encouragement to Israel and to us as well. When we read the O.T. we see that Israel had a tendency to wander from the right path. When they wandered God reminded them where they had wandered from and showed them the way back to the right path.

When we read the Gospels we see that once again God is reminding His people that they have wandered from the right path and need to return to it. The reminders come from John the Baptist and Jesus. John told them the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am the voice of someone shouting in the desert:  ‘Make a straight road ready for the Lord.’” John 1:23 ERV Jesus said: “Change your hearts and lives, because God’s kingdom is now very near. Matthew 4:17 ERV They were reminding God’s people that He had sent them, to call His own back to Himself.

All have wandered from the path that leads to life; All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness. Romans 3:23 ERV and God has provided a way of returning to that path through the WORD.

Today there are many that have never come to Christ “The Way” and are wandering far from the path. There are others that had started down the right path and have wandered from it. Either way, our heavenly Father wants them to go the right way. He calls to them just as He did on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the first Gospel sermon. Peter said to them, “Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Then God will forgive your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you. It is also for your children and for the people who are far away. It is for everyone the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:38,39 ERV

If you are wandering. If you have not come to Christ yet, respond to Him today. Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and get onto the right path. If already have been baptized, yet have wandered from the right path repent and get back onto the right path. Begin following Jesus today, He is “The Way, The Truth and The Life”

“You can enter true life only through the narrow gate. The gate to hell is very wide, and there is plenty of room on the road that leads there. Many people go that way. But the gate that opens the way to true life is narrow. And the road that leads there is hard to follow. Only a few people find it.” Matthew 7:13,14 ERV

© 2013 leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"In the light"

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 
1 John 1:5 ESV

God is light, what a beautiful thought. Every time I read this verse I think of the sunniest day I can imagine and know that the light of God is far more brilliant than that. 

Most of us really enjoy a beautiful sunny day, especially after a long cold winter. When spring come and the days get longer and warmer we look forward to the even more pleasant day’s of summer. We thrive in the warmth of the light. Conversely we wither and fade in the darkness and cold.

So, to know that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all we can flourish in his presence. Away from his presence there is the absence of light and warmth. The “world” is cold and dark place if we move away from God. 

So many begin to walk in the light of God, but in time wander away into the dark, coldness of the world. Some never to return to the light. What a sad ending that is.

Many of us know folks that have wandered off like that. When we remember those people, let’s remember them to God. Let’s pray that someday they will see the light and follow it back home. If we have the chance, let’s let God’s light shine on them through us. Let’s remind them that they are missed. Let’s remind them that there is still a place for them in the light.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Monday, October 14, 2013

"He taught"

And he opened his mouth, and taught them.
Matthew 5:2 ESV

When I read this verse at the beginning of the sermon on the mount, it struck me that every time Jesus opened his mouth he taught. He didn’t teach simple or useless things, he taught profound life altering things. His words were never wasted, they all had purpose and meaning.

When Jesus opened his mouth words of love, wisdom and encouragement came out. Many times what he spoke were words of forgiveness. When he spoke he was making a difference in someone’s life. His words were intended to draw the hearer closer to God and his way of living.

As disciples of Jesus shouldn’t we chose our words wisely? Shouldn’t we too be teaching others a better way by the things we say? The reality is that the things we say teach others about us and what’s in our hearts. It was the same for Jesus. When he spoke his hearers learned about him and what was in his heart.

So today, let’s weigh out our words before we speak them. Let’s seek to teach people about God’s way of living by the teaching we do when we speak.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
”The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. 

Psalm 46:10,11 ESV

Monday, October 7, 2013

"Ignorant controversies"

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
2 Timothy 2:23 ESV

What great advice the Apostle Paul shared with young Timothy. Paul says that ignorant controversies breed quarrels. How true that is. How many of us can look back on our lives and remember a time when when we were baited into arguments concerning ignorant controversies? They usually were quite unproductive and damaging to all involved.

The key word in this advice is “ignorant”. More often than not the issues that cause contention and division come from ignorance of the scriptures. Many folks want to argue for things that the bible either speaks directly against or they attempt to twist the scriptures to their way of thinking. Either way, when this happens you are dealing with someone that is propagating an ignorant controversy. If such a person will not listen to the scriptures and continues to force their agenda, it’s time to move on. Gently let them know that you will no longer continue to entertain their foolish pursuit.

So today, be aware of the conversations you involve yourself in. Don’t participate in foolish pursuits that will only bring on an argument that may cause lasting damage to you, your reputation and the relationship with person pursuing ignorant controversies. Deal gently with those that are ignorant of the scriptures and perhaps they will be won over by the truth of God’s word.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, October 4, 2013


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

photo  ©2007  thegoinggreenboutique, Flickr

I think this passage is something we should meditate on as we see so many things in the world around us in an upheaval. How we react as Christians is going show the world who is really in charge.

The Apostle Paul understood political, social  and religious chaos and found his comfort in Christ. This is why he can confidently write a passage like this to the Philippian church. We too can apply this passage to our lives today. In spite of all that is going on around us and in our lives we can have full confidence that God knows what we are going through and He will see us through it.

So today, let’s rejoice, be reasonable , not be anxious, pray and be thankful. We can do this because we have the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding. Let’s let the world see that our hearts and minds are guarded in Jesus. Have this song in your heart today...

“This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue”

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Nothing new"

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV

While there is nothing new under the sun, I have been moved by the amount of desperation I see in the lives of so many people today. Every society has its ebb and flow of desperate times, but right now it seems as though America has more than enough desperation to go around. 

“Desperate times call for desperate measures”. Many people today are taking desperate action in their lives. The number of suicides, robberies and other violent actions in this area in recent weeks has been amazing. We’ve seen too many people that have given up hope and turned to drugs and violence to gain some sort of control in their lives.

All of this going on around us and yet people do not see where hope is to be found. They turn to anything other than God in their search for hope, peace and control in their lives. So many lost souls wandering aimlessly about, never finding what they are searching for. We need to make ways of reaching out to let them know what it is that is driving them to search; “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecc. 3:11 ESV  The answers aren’t found in new laws and regulations. Its not found in a particular political party. Mankind does not have the answers.

Every person that walks this planet has eternity in their hearts. This is what drives people to seek something that gives meaning to their lives. Today most people try to find that in a particular cause. Take a minute and think about all the causes you know of; diseases, social groups, animal rights, human rights, the list goes on and on. As great as all of these causes are, the people of this world still suffer and languish in loneliness and desperation in spite of having a “focus” in their lives. Why? Because, the focus is not on what will guide people to make broader reaching efforts in the lives of those that are seeking comfort in this fallen world.

There is only one answer to the world’s problems. The good news about Jesus. The Gospel is what truly changes lives and hearts. Only through Jesus sacrifice and His teachings will the individuals find purpose, hope and lasting peace. The more people that come to Christ and His way of living, the better off the world will be. The way that will happen, is through His disciples. When we live out the teachings of Jesus and truly love others as He does, then we will see lives changed for the better.

Today, let those of us who have been changed by the Gospel seek to show that change to the world around us. Let’s show people the “cause” that will offer hope and renewed focus to their lives. That cause is, the cause that Jesus lived and died for. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 ESV Whether people realize it or not, without God they are lost and will not find what they seek.

Jesus spoke to so many people that were lost and didn’t even realize it. The saddest cases were those that thought they had it all under control. There are many like that today and they need to hear the good news. Let’s let our changed lives speak to them. If we wear the name Christian, we are on mission. Let’s fulfill that mission one life at a time. Reach out today.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman