Thursday, March 20, 2014

inside our toolbox

Several places I go have these huge toolboxes that amaze me.  Walk through Lowe’s, and you see them.  They are taller than me and just big.  They have lots of doors, storage and even some surprises.  Another place I see even bigger toolboxes is at NASCAR races.  Their toolboxes not only have tools, but several people can sit on the canopy covered top and watch the flat screen TV’s that are attached to them.

That brings me to a question: what is in your tool box?  Before I give you a spiritual answer, you might want to know that I use a couple draws in an old cabinet for my toolbox.  I also use a couple of old fishing lure boxes to hold little things.  Truth is I am not much of a tool guy, but that is a side note.

As we talk spiritually there ought to be lots of great things in our spiritual toolbox that will help us live on purpose and deal proactively with the people we are around.  Here are some verses with a few of the tools we should use and understand well.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.

There are a few pieces that stick out in this toolbox.  With these we will have our focus on God and our source of strength solely as Him.

PRAYER --- this is conversation between God and us, and it is a two-way conversation.  Listening is even more important than talking.  Staying in close communication with God is vital to living with the purpose God has given us.

PEACE --- peace is the result of important choices we make.  Like the first two verses talked about when we worry less, we will have the presence of God’s peace in our lives.  Peace becomes our protection as well as inspiration for us personally and for the people we interact with.

TRUTH --- if you will recall, truth is called “the belt of truth” in the armor that Ephesians 6 talked about.  Truth guards and holds things together.  Yet we have to be careful what we call truth.  It is what God says that is truth.  Further, truth is a person.  In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the truth”.  To follow Jesus is to pursue and share truth.

HOLINESS --- God told us that we are to be holy because He is holy, but my thought here is the fact when we want people to be close to us they have to have some special qualities that we care about.  When holiness is part of our lives, we are able to grow closer to God.  Holiness can be characterized as Christ-like.  That is what we share and pursue when we know our purpose.

ACTION --- putting in to practice what we learn from God is our action.  He is kind, He is peace, He is holy, He is forgiveness and love and strength… The list goes much further.

This is a short list of things that ought to be in our toolbox, but each of these tools leads us to understand the quality and importance of all the tools.  I pray that we will put aside what doesn’t matter and hold tight to what does matter.  Let your toolbox be filled by God.

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happy birthday, Julie

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