"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13
Over 30 years ago, I inherited a bowl my grandfather had turned. This inspired me to give it a try.
This was before Amazon and YouTube, so I ordered a wood lathe from a mail order catalog.
When the lathe arrived, I constructed a bench to mount it on and set everything up. The user manual was okay for this part but when it came to turning a project the manual was not much help.
I experimented for months and just could not get it. Without a mentor to work with I eventually gave up out of pure frustration and it became a dust collector in my workshop.
Some years ago, we had taken down a large tree and a couple of years later we had it milled into boards. This lumber was beautifully splalted, a fungal discoloration caused by partially decayed wood. My wife wanted a large display shelf built with this, so I had a task to complete.
The unit would consist of 7, 5 feet by 1-foot shelves separated by 6, 1-foot spindles and the top shelf has 6, 3-inch spindles to top it off. I laid out the design with the shelved and how to hold everything together. All was going will till I came to the spindles. I found some I could purchase; however, they were not exactly what we were looking for and the price was more of an investment than I was willing to make. I remembered the old wood lathe tucked in the corner of my workshop. Now through the power of YouTube I could learn how to use it. After many hours I learned what type of wood I should use, how to sharpen the tools so I could get clean cuts to reduce the sanding time required. After a lot of practice, and work creating the spindles I was able to complete the project.
Learning the techniques and lots of practice I have gone on to create more items and even upgraded to a better-quality lathe.
As with everything we need to learn and practice to grow in our craft.
In the same way, when we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we are not magically transformed into a mature Christian. In Philippians 2:12 we are called to “work out our faith”. We need to grow in Christ.
So, how do we do that?
Prayer: Pray and, thank Jesus for the gift of His salvation daily.
Community: Find a group of believers who put the Bible first. Attend weekly worship services, get involved with a Bible study (Join one of LBPC bible study groups). Find a mentor to support you.
Read and study: If you do not have a Bible, get one and read it daily. There are many versions available, so you will need to find a version that you can understand. I suggest looking at www.biblegateway.com as a starting point. They also have an APP available. You can compare many different versions, search for a verse, or a topic. Bible Gateway also provides reading plans that can aid in reading the Bible through in under a year. (My wife and I have committed to read it through together every year for the last four or five years. We keep each other on track and discuss what we have read. This has been a blessing for us in many ways.)
Memorize Scripture: Hiding the Word in your heart, so you can easily recall it the moment presents.
Never stop believing: Stay strong and unwavering in your faith of Jesus Christ.
-Written by Steve Roten
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