HOPE YOU’RE NOT too bothered by a snow scene in August. If Hallmark Channel can feature Christmas movies in August (which I enjoy!), I might be allowed just this one picture with snow?
I PAINTED THIS OIL eight years ago from a reference I don’t recall. I like the horses under the lights just before being secured for the night. I chose it in connection with our Thought—Tools—for this week. The shed to the left and in the background house the farmer’s tools. They are easily accessible when needed. Each was created for a specific purpose. The two horses were possibly his most valuable tools.
WHEN WE MOVED from Andover to Rosemount, Minnesota in 2018, one goal was to downsize. For me that meant four important parts of my life would undergo big changes. I enjoy all of them and have tools for each, plus a place set aside for each:
- Study & Writing: I had a large well-lit space for my library, computer and all that goes with study and writing.
- Fine Art Creation: I had a good size studio space for my drawing board and H-frame easel,with workspace and storage for art supplies.
- Woodworking: A section of our two-car garage was dedicated to workbench, table saws and the other smaller power tools and materials.
- Gardening: I had an 8’ x 12’ utility shed in the back yard for all the gardening and landscape supplies.
NOW LIVING IN a townhouse, gardening is limited to one or two potted plants on the patio. All those tools went to our son in Apple Valley. Woodworking was limited to a few hand powered tools when all the big equipment went to our son in Hastings. I have maintained an adequate space for Study & Writing as well as Fine Art Creation. But this is not what I want to talk about.
YOU AND I were born into God’s purpose and for God’s purpose. Everyone was created with the same mutually beneficial common purpose of growing in our experience and representation of God our creator in his world. But we are not identical. Each is a unique ‘tool’ for our Master’s use as he continues to create through the instrumentality of our gifts, talents and diverse experiences.
Each person [tool] is given something to do that shows who God is: everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things [tool purposes] are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people [tools]. The variety is wonderful…wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12: 4ff [Msg.]
How it Works
All these gifts [‘tool’ functions] have common origin but are handed out one by one by the Spirit of God. He decides who [which ‘tool’] gets what, and when. 1 Corinthians 12:11 [Msg.]
For we are God’s workmanship [tools], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 [NIV]
…he [Jesus follower] will be an instrument [tool] for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:21b [NIV]
Servants (Slaves)…Instruments (Tools)
EACH OF US is a unique ‘tool’ for our Master’s use as he continues to create through the instrumentality of who we are and of who we are becoming. The word Paul uses is ‘slave’ from the Greek douleuo. This is a slave or tool by choice out of gratitude. We are all invited to join! I’m reminded of the chorus we used to sing… “How can I do less that give Him my best, after all he has done for me?”
Unique and Identical
EACH FOLLOWER of Jesus is a uniquely created and gifted child of God born into a culture, time, set of opportunities and environments. Nevertheless, each has two things that are identical through the indwelling Holy Spirit: His Presence (Psalm 23) and His Love (Galatians 5:22). The assignment in His Kingdom work may change during a lifetime, but his presence and love never changes.
He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. Ephesians 4:11ff [Msg]
My ‘Tool’ Prayer
James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” May the tool of art and writing in my life be used by the Master for blessing in His church—the body of Christ—and beyond. Amen!