Tools of the Trade
Years ago I had several jobs in the workforce until I surrendered my life to full time ministry. Some of those jobs were good, some bad, but they all paid money in return for work. One particular job I worked at was hanging and finishing sheet rock. It required me to have a tool belt, sheet rock hammer, circle cutter, tape measure, sheetrock knife, and a few other tools for finishing. When I started on the job I had to learn to use those tools to be able to complete my work every day. If I lost one of those tools, I would either have to borrow others, or quit. The tools of that trade were very important to me so I could do the work of the day. Also, I needed to keep ahead of the work required to keep from getting reprimanded or fired. It was my goal to keep up and even surpass what was expected to build a little bit of job protection so I could keep getting my wages. Some jobs are that way, where you have a quota, and if you don’t hit that quota, you might not even get paid. You build up job protection by surpassing your quota and staying ahead of anything bad that might come your way. It’s job protection. Of course, I won’t even go into the inequities that exist today, where a lazy person gets paid more than a hard working person because of politics, lying, etc. That is a result of the condition of the world we live in. The main point of this blog is to help you realize that the right tools make it possible for us to have job protection if we use them effectively.
As we go about our life we are commanded by God to serve Him. That service many times will become difficult because of tough conditions that surface because of one thing; living a life of honor and Godliness! Yes, we will have to pay the piper when we live a life that mirrors the Word of God. That doesn’t even make sense does it? A life of Godliness causes persecution? Paul speaks to this very thing in 2 Timothy 3:10-17 where He says in verse 12, “Indeed, all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Now Paul is not just saying that those who live a good life will be persecuted, but those who live a Godly life. What’s the difference? Paul in verse 10 speaks about following his example by following his teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings. That’s the Godly life he is speaking about. Boy, it sure got quiet just now……(crickets…) You know what that means? We are to be aggressive in our faith and witness knowing that lifestyle will produce persecution from time to time. Whew! Who wants to apply for that job? Those who know Christ! He also states something in verse 13 that is chilling for all who may fade away from this aggressive lifestyle. He says evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. When you don’t do the job or service you are called to do, then you start to make up ways to get out of the work. You try to make your “break time” longer and you get a union official to argue for you to make your work easier. Before long what used to be a worker, becomes a lazy complainer. Churches are full of verse 13 people. They complain and make excuses for not serving Christ as they get others to agree with them to argue their point and the end result is chaos. What started out as a noble cause becomes a den of deception and lies. When that happens, the cause of Christ is stopped……. sad, but true.
Paul says we can avoid all these problems if we will do one thing. Use the tools of the trade, God’s Word, and thus protect ourselves from becoming deceived and unproductive. He tells us in verses 14- 17 what we must do to keep on track. We must keep the things we have learned and be convinced they are true, even when others fade away from that truth. We must remember our salvation experience and let that memory drive us in our journey of faith. In other words, we are heaven bound, not bound for hell. Remember? Lastly, we must use the tools of the trade to handle all situations and keep us protected in these last days. Our tools are found in the Word of God. The Word of God is totally inspired by God to help us handle every job, and not only handle it, but complete it. When we live by the Word, we are adequate. Adequate means acceptable in quality and quantity. That is a job well done. In Matthew 25:21 Jesus relates the same thing as a person who completes what their Master says to do, and that Master’s reply is “well done.” In other words, a” job well done.” Don’t try to do it though without using the tools of the trade! God’s Word is alive and active and cuts through all the smoky haze. May it forever be my “tools of the trade.”
The Pilgrimage continues….