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Friday, July 15, 2022
Yesterday afternoon we drove through Hershey PA and saw the distinctive Hershey Kisses street lamps, so common to us for the past 21 years that we often don't take notice anymore. But what did get our attention yesterday was the large petunia planters hanging on each post all along Main Street through town. An Americana sight: from small towns to large cities are the beautiful summer planters that boroughs, townships, and business owners display for our enjoyment much like we do with our own landscape so friends, neighbors, and we ourselves can enjoy the beauties of the summer season.
"The Master Carpenter"
Message summary: What is your life's work today? "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23,24).
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"Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David" (2 Samuel 5:11). "Is not this the carpenter?" (Mark 6:3).
Yesterday I visited for a few minutes with Justin, a carpenter for Smucker Home Improvement, as he prepared to go to his job site to install a deck. I asked him, "Who is the most famous carpenter?" Without missing a beat he replied, "Jesus"!
Today's first text is the first in the Bible to reference a carpenter. "Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David." The dictionary defines carpenter as "a person who builds or repairs wooden structures". All of us, in one way or another, have benefited from a carpenter's skills.
Perhaps you've seen the slogan often displayed on a bumper sticker that says, "My boss is a Jewish carpenter". (Thought-provoking, but this slogan comes short of the honor the Lord is worthy of.)
The Gospels reveal very little about Christ's life before He began His ministry. But the second daily text indicates that Jesus practiced the trade of carpentry until the time He began His ministry at about 30 years of age. "Is not this the carpenter?" Since Joseph was also a carpenter (Matthew 13:55) it is reasonable to assume they worked together as would have been the practice at that time. The Greek word τέκτων (tekton)- traditionally a carpenter but literally means any craftsman who worked with his hands. Traditionally, boys would follow in their father's occupation, commonly seen among the Amish community even today.
I'm sure the Lord was a very good carpenter; competent and diligent in His work and honest with His customers. I wonder if He ever cut twice because He measured only once? I wonder how He reacted when He banged His thumb or how he dealt with the sharp sting He felt from a deep splinter? Do you suppose He called out His own name in an irreverent, exasperated way as will take place millions of times today when people encounter pain or frustration. I hardly think so. Did He exclaim, "Good God Almighty"? If so, I am sure it was expressed in an entirely different tone than normally spoken today!
We also consider how Jesus might have really enjoyed using some of the modern tools available to carpenters such as cordless battery-powered saws!
What is your life's work today? A few of you just might be carpenters. Readers of this daily encouragement series come from a host of different backgrounds and work in a vast array of different vocations. Of course some of you are students and a good number of our readers are retired.
No matter our vocational calling, craft, or life skill, we are all called to serve God. When Jesus worked as a carpenter surely He was serving God no less than when, at the appointed time, He began His preaching ministry. Jesus was in His Father's perfect will, working in accordance to His time line His entire earthly life. This goes back to when He informed his parents as a twelve year old, "I must be about my Father's business" (Luke 2:49 KJV).
Some of you sense that God has something different for you, some other form of service. And He very well may. Perhaps you sense a call to vocational ministry. But until that calling is fully realized, remember the skilled, diligent, honest Jewish carpenter who became our Lord and Savior. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23, 24).
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we offer up to You our lives as living sacrifices. May we be holy and pleasing to You. In whatever form of work we do may we do so with diligence as unto the Lord. We thank You for the variety of giftings and work skills You give us in regard to vocational work and how we are blessed and provided for. We honor you as we have a proper view toward work, as we live in a way that pleases You, and as we shine like lights in this dark world. Amen.
(See Philippians 2:15)
Brooksyne's note: As we wrote about those "called to ministry" I consider the many, many who may not have Bible College/Seminary training or be credentialed by a ministerial institution but offer themselves to ministry wholeheartedly. In our view many are just as effective as those specially trained and credentialed and in some cases even more so. Few of them receive financial compensation and they often invest their own resources expecting no reimbursement. It isn't the certificate, license, or title that counts but the giving of oneself to ministry and the yielding of one's giftings that pleases our Lord.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"What He's Done" Video Passion Conference Praise God for what the Master Carpenter has done!
"Build My Life" Video Pat Barrett
Yesterday we wrote a message about friendships titled "Friends On Earth And Friends Above" and received this thoughtful reply from David, a Texan friend.
"We are going to lunch today with two couples that we first met in seminary in the late 70s. We may not see each other here on earth again, but we will all be together again for eternity. That goes for you guys too; we may not get to see you again until heaven. I'll introduce them to you with pleasure."
That's an interesting thought to consider; people we have known on earth introducing us to others in heaven!
We stopped by the Old Windmill Farm yesterday morning.
This bunny was recently born on the Old Windmill Farm and the children excitedly brought it to us upon our arrival yesterday. Amazingly, this baby bunny is already tame, due to the children's steady attention, and if bunnies could purr upon being petted this one surely would have.
Jesse pointed out this unusual sight, a chicken with an orphaned baby duck. Jesse had placed the egg with the chicken and after hatching they are just fine together!
Brooksyne's Note: We passed a farm with these Amish children out working beside their dad doing some type of field work. It's a wholesome sight to see families working together and neighbors pitching in where help is needed such as this family. In the photo below you will see that we took Lizzie to Cracker Barrel for her 11th birthday. She pointed to the family we feature in the photo above and excitedly shared that she helps them a couple days a week tending to their vegetables and helps get them ready for the family produce stand. (I thought back to my days as a child in the hot, hot summers of Oklahoma and the months we spent planting, weeding, harvesting, shucking, peeling, hulling along with other means of getting our vegetables ready to can or freeze. Canning and freezing the produce is yet another chapter for all the work it took. The biggest gardening "adventure" was the year my mom and dad decided to plant a whole acre garden. We worked from sun up to sun set and I will tell you I sure didn't have Lizzie's joyful attitude about working in the fields, but we five children, along with Mom, did it anyway (no choice) and I sure learned the value of hard work!
Following our early morning chaplain visit, we took Lizzie to Cracker barrel for her 11th birthday, along with Ester. When we asked Lizzie why she requested the Cracker Barrel she said the food's good and she liked to look at all the old-fashioned stuff. I suppose that would be true for most all the customers.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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