This holiday weekend you might be doing some work around your house to get it ready for summer. You might be planning to remodel your deck or maybe build a new one. While you are hammering away your spouse is busy planting flowers. Regardless of the work you plan to do, you need tools, not just any tools, but the proper tools, to complete the project. Your toolbox is filled with hand tools and power tools while the wheelbarrow has a trowel, shovel, soil cultivator, hoe, dibber, and a watering can. (If you are a gardener, you know what a dibber is, if not, Google it.)
Having and using the proper tools and implements helps make the job easier. You make them work for you. We often view the Bible in that same way; we see it as some sort of spiritual toolbox. We want to take things out of Scripture and make them work for us, just like those carpentry or gardening tools. However, we do not use Scripture; God uses Scripture to change us and carry out His will and His plan in and through us.
The process of becoming more like Jesus means that we come before God, who becomes present to us in and through the Bible, and it is through His Word that we begin to be transformed. Hebrews 4:12-13 tells us that the Bible is what we are to use to calibrate, measure, and judge our thoughts and attitudes. We read, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all of creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (NIV)
In The Message, the contemporary rending of the Bible written by Eugene Peterson, Jesus’ words found in John 5:39-40 reads like this – “You have your heads in your Bibles, constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And I here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”
So, are you allowing God to use His Word to continually retool and remanufacture you?
New Bern, North Carolina