Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: Compass: Direction begins with Connection! (LISTEN HERE)
If iron sharpens iron, what results when the sparks stop flying and the extra metal is ground off?
A sharp, effective cutting knife or tool.
If you have ever tried to cut a piece of wood with dull blade or cut a piece of steak with a dull knife? It’s frustrating and is not very effective.
Only when an implement is sharp can it function properly.
So it is with us.
The Lord wants to sharpen us so we are the most effective for him we can be.
The people he puts around us are part of this process.
He puts connections in our life to sharpen our faith.
Ephesians 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Every child needs a parent to guide and teach them. As parents we do our best to pour into our children’s lives to help them, grow, learn and mature. Along the way, parents do the tough job of disciplining. The fun job of celebrating success and the long-term job of modeling and teaching. Each little aspect adds to the formation of the child, with, God-willing, the outcome being a well-rounded, God-fearing, functioning adult who adds value to the world and other people as a follower of Jesus.
The same is true for our faith. We need people around us to guide us, mentor us, model for us, teach us, warn us, correct us, etc. The Apostle Paul indicates that the very people we need are the very people with which God blesses us in the community of his church. The people around us from the leadership to the membership are there to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus, our understanding of his Word and the discernment of what is truth and error.
“Grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Every person God is working on and bringing together to be the fully functioning body he intended. What is the impact when all the members of the body of Christ are “sharp in their faith”?
The body grows.
The body loves.
The body matures.
The body impacts.
The body supports
The body withstands opposition.
The body reflects Christ.
When you cut through wood with a sharp blade or a juicy steak with a sharp knife it is a beautiful, effortless activity. The end result is enjoyment of the smooth cut or the fine steak.
So it is when the Lord sharpens our faith. We enjoy the blessing of the faith he gives us and the community of faith in which he has placed us. While friction and sparks may fly again when more sharpening is needed, in the interim we find the joy, peace, blessing and grace of being with and functioning with the body of Christ.
Iron will sharpen iron…so will connection with people sharpen you and you them!
Apply: What aspect of your faith has been sharpened by someone around you? What was hard about this? What was the result you and they were blessed with?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for putting people in my life to sharpen my faith. Help me to see the blessing of this sharpening so I might be a more impactful, effective follower of you! AMEN.