USABLE TOOLS


INTRODUCTION

Frank is a master carpenter. He makes his living building custom furniture. Years ago one of his regular customers called him, “the Michelangelo of Wood Working.” Frank was always glad that nickname never really stuck. Fact of the matter is, Frank just loves to build. He always seems to find carpentry work around the church or his neighborhood. Last week he built a handicap access ramp at an elderly neighbors’ home. He recently helped the local Boy Scout Troop build a large bin for collecting newspaper for recycling. Frank truly loves being a carpenter. He has a workshop full of tools. He has electric tools, pneumatic tools, manual tools, old tools, new tools, just about any tool you can imagine for woodworking. He even keeps the broken ones because he knows he can fix them and use them again. Frank loves all his tools, but he has two in particular he uses whenever he can. His old hand saw and the hammer his father gave him when he was still a teenager. He certainly has fancier tools, but these require little to no maintenance and just always seem willing to do whatever job Frank is focused on. As useful as these tools are, he has improved them. About ten years ago Frank put a new handle that was about an inch longer on his hammer. Not only was the old handle worn and cracked, but the added length greatly increased the momentum when he swung it. His saw doesn’t require much maintenance either aside from an occasional oiling to keep rust off the blade. But last year Frank sharpened every tooth on that old hand saw. It’s a sight to watch him tear through a two-by-four. Frank always seems pleased as he carefully nails the last piece of wood into place and steps back to admire his work. Over the years people have often asked why he repeatedly uses the old hand saw and hammer so often when he has so many other tools to choose from. The answer is always the same, “It’s always satisfying to pick up a tool that is ready to work. I know I can count on these usable tools.”


SCRIPTURE

Focus Verse: Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Additional Verses: Isaiah 10:15, Jeremiah 18:3-4


DISCUSSION

Have you ever viewed yourself as “… an instrument of righteousness…” What an amazing thought, to be a useable tool in the hands of God. But don’t misunderstand, God does not need us to accomplish His work. God is all powerful. He can do anything. However, He allows us the awesome privilege of joining Him in His work if we submit ourselves to Him. Don’t get focused on the work. Focus on being usable and submitting to God. And what’s even more amazing is God can and will remake you to suit His purposes. Carefully and diligently guard against pride when God uses you (Luke 18:13-14). Remember who is doing the work and humbly be thankful for God’s mercy and willingness to use you.


PRAYER

Holy Father in Heaven, I lift praises to Your name and beg You to forgive me of my sins. I humbly submit myself to You and pray that You will use me in your work. May Your will be done, dear Lord, and may I decrease as You increase. Thank you, Father, for Your kindness, patience and mercy. In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.