Over the years I’ve written about quite a variety of things, but really they all come back to one – our daily life with our Lord. Psalm 100 says that “It is He who has created us and we are His”. When I am making something in my woodshop I have determined the item’s purpose, the method of construction, and I envision how it will be used. I don’t believe God has done any less in making us. We are intentional creations of His, for the purpose He determined. We are not random accidents of evolution. And just as the piece of furniture I make for my home is not abandon as soon as it is done, but put into functional and enjoyable use, so our God does not abandon His creation, but (as I said as part of the marriage service Sunday) is ever present with His abundant blessing. And just as I love and appreciate the qualities of the wood I use in a project I want to be able to enjoy it for years to come. So too, our God has created us for eternal fellowship with Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. It is these truths that underly all my messages. It is God who created us for His good purpose, and He remains ever a part of His creation in order to bring us into His eternal fellowship. Thinking about this should cause us to turn toward Him and consider again what this means for daily life.
|When we go through trials and suffer a lot of pain we sometimes wonder where God is. Why do we have to go through this? Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? It is a problem, and we do have great difficulty seeing God in the midst of pain. Yet we continually say that God is there, and cares about all we go through. I’ve been a woodworker for many years. I often think in terms of woodworking projects. Let’s try this illustration. A cabinet or a table, for example. There is pain and force at every stage of its construction. The raw wood has to be planed with knives scrapping off layer after layer until the wood is the right thickness. The boards have to be edge glued with heavy bar clamps applying tremendous pressure. A 40 tooth saw blade cuts through the wood at 3600 rpm to get the right sizes. Holes are drilled, more shaping, sanding, and polishing. At every stage the woodworker is using care, love, and the best of his ability. There is pain, if we can picture the wood with feelings, in order to bring forth something that is beautiful and useful for many years. From wisdom and experience he knows there is no easier way. At each stage he knows the beauty of the finished item he desires. That is the beauty our good Lord is working in us by His gracious and skilled hand. Let us give Him praise, even at times through tears.|
I have worked in wood for many years. Many aspects of woodworking are very enjoyable. Taking a rough sawn piece of lumber, milling it smooth, and making a piece of furniture from it. One of the aspects that was the most fun and a challenge was to take an old decrepit piece of furniture, repair parts, make some new parts, and bring it back to an attractive and usable piece of furniture. You know, that’s just what God does with people. We take seriously the truth that sin mars and, too often, destroys that beautiful person God created. But God is never satisfied to leave anyone in that condition. God is the chief Master Builder. He did with people what no one else could do. He sent His Son to make atonement for our sins. He cleansed us, and, by the presence of His Spirit, is working day by day to restore us to the beauty He originally intended. You and I are that piece of marred furniture, but our Lord has worked and is working on us. He will not stop until that work is complete – to His glory and to our joy.