10th August 2020

Sharpen Up!

“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 (CSB)

Many years ago, as a child, I remember a man calling at our house offering to sharpen all our knives and garden shears. As I remember, it was an annual visit sometime in the spring, and he had a grinding stone in the back of his Morris 1000 van. Each year he used to sharpen all our carving knives, our ordinary knives and our garden shears. It now seems to have died out as a job and my garden shears are annoyingly blunt. But maybe that is a business opportunity for someone?

Of far more importance is the sharp edge of God’s Word and the benefit we have of our minds and hearts being sharpened on a regular basis. The scripture quoted above is interesting because it begs the question, when were we last cut open by God’s word? Not in the sense of a physical cut leaving us bleeding, but in our spiritual and emotional response to it. It can be painful to grasp the deeper meaning of a scripture we have read many times before, or to realise that the Bible is talking to us directly and powerfully about our faults. Humanly we don’t want to admit our shortcomings as Christians. But God’s Word is not designed to cut us to pieces obsessing about all our faults and failures. It is designed to sharpen us up in our goal of becoming more like Jesus Christ. As we see something in ourselves that needs to change we need to thank God for revealing a weakness to us.

What God’s Word does for us is to cut stepping stones to success, not stumbling blocks to failure. Yes it can turn our lives upside down, shake us out of our complacent belief that we are doing fine, making us think again about our attitude and approach in some situations. But all that is for our own good, it helps us to remain humble, grounded  and growing in the grace and knowledge of God as we are told to do in 2 Peter 3.18. In fact, we should be more concerned if God’s Word does not occasionally penetrate our minds and hearts.

The old gentleman who used to sharpen our knives and shears used a grinding wheel to do so. We need to use the grinding wheel of God’s Word so we are regularly sharpened up!

Father, humanly we don’t like correction or having to change our attitudes and mindset, but we truly want to be more like Christ, so help us to be willing to let the Word teach us, however painful that can sometimes be.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick


About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: leeds@gracecom.church

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