Summary: This sermon teaches how God uses our life experiences to ready us for Service.
How Does God Ready Us for Service (how to make a knife)
It is a fact that God desires to use every one of His children to minister to a world that is dying in sin.
Eph 4:11 talks about how God gave various gifts to us for the express purpose of sharing the gospel with all those we come in contact with every day.
So, how does God prepare us to be used by Him for the furtherance of His Kingdom? What is the process we must undergo in order to become tools in the hands of the Master?
Well, God revealed this to me some time back in a rather unorthodox manner.
For reasons unknown to me at the time, I suddenly became compelled to make a knife.
Now I have made a lot of things in my life, airplanes, boats, rebuilt old trucks, bow and arrows, fiddles and mandolins, but never once has it occurred to me to even attempt to make a knife.
I know they are made of steel, but beyond that, I had no clue.
When I was growing up you would have had to make a trip to a library or a master tool makers shop in order to gain this knowledge, but not today.
So, as any good nerd would do, I googled it. Within minutes I was watching with great interest video after video of people making knives.
Through this simple process, God was going to teach me something about people.
1. So, the first step in making a knife is selecting the right material. I dutifully searched the web for information on which steel was the best candidate for making a knife.
Most of the good stuff I found was too expensive or unavailable. So I got to thinking about what was available.
I went to the back of the shop, to the scrap table and started rooting around until I came up with an old rusty piece of steel bar stock.’
I didn’t know what it was made of or if it would even work, but it was available.
When God wants to make something of us, we must look a lot like that old discarded rusty piece of scrap metal.
The only difference is that God knows exactly what we are made of. He knows our strengths and our flaws.
All that is required for God to make something great out of our lives is for us to make ourselves available.
2. So I took this rusty piece of steel and drew the shape of a knife on it with a sharpie marker and then went to the band say to cut it out.
I had a plan in my head of what I thought my knife should look like. Just as I had a plan for my piece of scrap metal, God has a plan for each of you.
Jer 29:11 says, “for I know the plans I have for you, this is the Lords declaration, plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
The plans that God has for your life are always for your benefit, to give Him glory.
3. So, after I cut the metal to shape, I took it to the grinding wheel to start shaping it into the form of a knife.
In this process, you must grind away a lot of metal, but be careful not to get it too hot, as this would damage the strength of the metal, making it unusable.
Often, in the early, and sometimes latter, life of a Christian, God must take our lives to the grinding wheel, to modify our shape or remove a burr that is getting in the way of our being useful.
Prov 3:11-12 says, “my son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects.”
Just as the steel must be shaped by the hands of the craftsman, so must the lives of the Child of God be shaped by His hands.
The chastening of God polishes away the imperfections of our lives.
4. Now, once you have your knife cut to shape and ground to a bevel the blade, it must be heat treated.
Heat treating steel hardens it so that it will become a useful tool. Without heat treating, the metal is so soft that it will not hold and edge.
The steel must be heated until it is glowing orange, and there is simple test to determine if you have gotten it hot enough.
High carbon steel is magnetic, meaning that a magnet will stick to it. It is also influenced by the magnetic field of the earth.
However, when the steel is super-heated, to the point where it glows orange, it loses its magnetic properties. So to test if it is hot enough, you put a strong magnet against it, if it doesn’t stick, it is ready to be quenched in a vat of oil.