Connection sharpens our purpose
Every sharp tool is sharpened for a purpose. A woodcarver’s set of knives is sharpened to the arc and angle needed. A hunter’s knife is sharpened to efficiently skin an animal. A butcher’s knife is sharpened to cut quickly through whatever meat or food is being chopped.
God puts us in connection with others to sharpen our purpose. He knows that our role on this earth, while unique and individual, is sharper when we are in connection with others.
“As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:4-5
The Lord loves to take us as individuals, redeem us in Christ, and then build us together with others to be the “priesthood” he designed us to be.
What does that priesthood do? Offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Collectively, we are living for the Lord.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
Again, we realize all of our life is one lived for the glory of the Lord. While we can do that individually, our effectiveness is when God combines our lives with the lives of others to carry out his purpose and mission on earth.
If he needed just one, he would have stopped with Jesus. However, Jesus chose 12 along with other followers who became the first New Testament Church. That quickly expanded to 3,000 on Pentecost and hasn’t stopped growing since.
Individually and collectively we “declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness.” When one gets discouraged, another is there to encourage. When one stumbles, another is there to pick them up. When one grows weary, another is there to strengthen. When one loses their way, another is there to go after them. When one needs to learn, another is there to teach.
It’s what God’s people do for each other and with each other when we collectively see and carry out our purpose in this life. We are here to follow the Lord and declare the praises of the Lord.
By the sharpening of the Spirit and his work through others to remove the dull edges with the friction of sharpening and through the sparks to purify for himself a people that are his own.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-13
Iron will sharpen iron. One person will sharpen another.
It’s not always easy, but it’s God’s way of making us sharp to carry out his purpose!
Lord, help us to receive the sparks of sharpening, knowing that your will is to sharpen for yourself a people who are transformed by and living out your grace!