25th April 2012

The Christian Toolbox

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV UK)

Everyone needs the right tools to get the job done.  Our toolbox needs to contain the tools of our trade, whether hammers and chisels for a carpenter, or motherboards and mouse for the IT professional.  You may share a toolbox with colleagues but each has their own, or their favourite, tool.  Chefs have their personal knives which they keep sharpened.  They are familiar with the weight and balance of the right knife for each job and can use them skilfully. 

So it is with the tools of our trade as Christians.  Different jobs call for different skills and different tools.  We are not all trained for the same job, or gifted in the same way.  1 Corinthians 12:1 speaks of the special abilities that God gives us and the chapter goes on to mention some of the ‘Spiritual Gifts’ that are used to serve God in witnessing and evangelism. 

It is tempting to look at someone else with their gift and wish that we were great preachers or singers or caterers, but we read in verse 11 that the Spirit decides which gift each person should have.  If everyone had the same abilities the job would not get done.  Verse 31 says that even though we may desire the ‘best’ gifts, the very best thing to do is to use the gifts you have to serve with love. The next verse begins 1 Corinthians 13, the well-known ‘Love Chapter’.

Romans 12 (NLT) also talks about the tools or gifts of a Christian.  Verse 6 says that “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.”  And verses 7-8 go on to say, “If your gift is serving others, serve them well.  If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.”  If you have excellent tools, well sharpened and cared for, but never take them out of the toolbox, they are useless. 

Have you ever tried to drive a screw into a brick wall using an ordinary screwdriver?  Impossible!  But with power tools the job can be accomplished, although it still takes effort.  In Acts 1:8 Jesus tells the disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses…”  We have the tools, and we have the power, so let’s do the job! 

Thank you for the Spiritual Gifts that are given to each of us to help us do the Work of God given to us, Father in Heaven.  Help us to make sure our tools are used, maintained and plugged in, so that we can serve to the best of our ability.

Study by Nancy Silcox

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