Message summary: The divine toolmaker is using us as His tools.
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“Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:22). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
We have been blessed to have Luis, a friend we see in our chaplaincy work, assist us on several home maintenance/improvement projects this summer. He installed two floors for us (our office and dining room) and this last weekend we finally completed a deck and railing replacement that began as a DIY project in 2016!
Luis, in his early forties, is still very nimble, unlike me, where my spirit may be willing but my flesh is weak. Due to several factors getting down on my knees is especially hard now and so much work requires that. However I still help out in the official position as a “gofor”. Luis also uses my tool collection which I have acquired through the years, including tools from my dad.
The late Bible teacher Herbert Lockyer who went to be with the Lord in 1984, wrote a book titled “All The Promises In The Bible”. In fact he wrote a series of books with this theme, “All The _____ Of The Bible” comprised of 21 volumes! Dr. Lockyer’s gifts for clearly explaining the profound truths of Scripture and helping readers apply these precepts to their everyday lives have made these inspiring books international bestsellers and they have lasting value.
However, I wish he would have written a book “All The Tools In The Bible”. I think that would be a popular book, especially with men!
A tool is defined as “a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function, an object used to extend the ability of an individual to modify features of the surrounding environment.
Although it seems reasonable to assume that Adam and Eve would have first developed tools to assist them in the cultivation of the garden, the first specific mention of “tool” in the Bible is our first daily text: “Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron.”
Tubal-Cain was a toolmaker. In several of our companies I visit with the toolmaker, still a vital role in the manufacturing process. Essentially they create the tools that make the tools.
Today’s second text presents God as the divine toolmaker and us as “His workmanship”.
The word workmanship here is “poiema” from which we get the word poem. It means something that is “composed or constructed, something that is made, that which is manufactured, a product, the thing made, a design produced by an artisan”.
Joni Eareckson Tada who became quadriplegic after a tragic diving accident, alludes to herself as a “poiema” in her book “A Place of Healing”.
“(God) has a plan and purpose for my time on earth. He is the master artist or sculptor, and He is the One Who chooses the tools He will use to perfect His workmanship. What of suffering, then? What of illness? What of disability? Am I to tell Him which tools He can use and which tools He can’t use in the lifelong task of perfecting me and molding me into the beautiful image of Jesus? Do I really know better than Him, so that I can state without equivocation that it’s always His will to heal me of every physical affliction? If I am His poem, do I have the right to say, ‘No, Lord. You need to trim line number two and brighten up lines three and five. They’re just a little bit dark.’ Do I, the poem, the thing being written, know more than the poet?”
We are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”. This passage follows the great “grace passage” in verses 8,9 that many of us have memorized. These verses should be memorized together for it truly continues Paul’s thought and is necessary for the whole picture.
Our salvation is clearly not a result of our good works but the genuinely saved will practice good works, for that is what we were created in Christ Jesus to do. We are God’s workmanship. The underlying word means, “something made, a product such as a fabric”. Today let us remember that the sole basis of our salvation is God’s amazing grace. Then let us respond by recognizing God’s will for our lives and aligning our hearts to His overall plan.
The divine toolmaker is using us as His tools.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, Your divine workmanship prepares me for good works in Christ Jesus. The tools You use to chisel, sculpt and fine tune my life are of Your choosing and for my good. The workmanship can be painful and mysterious at times, but when I walk by faith I can see more clearly how You are shaping me into the image of Christ Jesus. When I stop to consider all that You have done for me, in me, and through me I truly am in awe! Be glorified in my life, I pray. Amen.
We enjoy seeing the transition from summer to autumn beginning in our area.
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Here’s an idea for using small pumpkins on your fence posts!
This weekend we went to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire which has various reenactments from the Renaissance period. It is not an activity we would usually attend but we had two free tickets and walked through the family friendly sections!