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Let the Saw Do the Work

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

I remember when I was 10 years old and our family lived in Ecuador. My parents were missionaries and my Dad's focus was on planting churches, mostly in the jungle villages along the northern coast of Ecuador. It was wild country with no roads and transportation was either by boat or else along the Pacific coast beaches at low tide. I still love to hear my Dad's stories of those days and I have memories of my own to go with them.

During that time, I was at a boarding school with my siblings, eight plus hours away traveling by a third-world bus. It was pretty difficult for a 10-year-old to be that far away from Mom and Dad for months at a time and I struggled with it. Eventually my parents went against the rules of the mission board, and for my well being brought me home to be home schooled during the second semester of my fifth-grade year. I will never forget those times with Mom and Dad in our wood frame two story house less than 50 yards from the Pacific Ocean in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

I excelled at my schoolwork, being the only student, and I usually finished before noon. Every afternoon I'd get to do things with my Dad: projects around the house, short trips, or other adventures. I know now, almost 50 years later, that it was during those days that the seeds were planted for the close relationship I have with my Mom and Dad today.

One afternoon I was working on some carpentry project. Being 10 years old it was probably my first time working with a hand saw. I was struggling in the hot sun, and I remember, as clearly as if it was happening today, my Dad telling me, "You're trying too hard. You have to just guide the saw along and let the saw do the work." It took me a few minutes to understand what he meant but I figured it out. If you just guide the saw along those sharp saw teeth chew right through the wood with very little effort. If you push it too hard the teeth bite right into the wood and the saw won't move!

I couldn't help but think about that when I was reading 2 Peter chapter 1. In verse 3 it tells us this: "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence". We struggle so much with trying to perfect all that it takes to be godly. I guess we should to some extent, after all, because this pursuit of a Christ-like nature is what we should be most serious about! But Peter gives us some pretty interesting advice here very similar to the advice my Dad gave me when he said, "let the saw do the work". Peter is pointing out that the divine power of God at work within His true followers has already granted us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness! Let that sink in for a minute.

You might be trying to focus on not being worried. You might be trying to focus on concern for your family and friends. You might be worried that you just aren't good enough to live successfully as a Child of God. But friends, this is what the Word of God says to those who have come to faith in Christ, confessed their sin and rested their faith on the Savior: He has already GRANTED you ALL things pertaining to life and godliness.

Make sure that your focus is in the right place today. Put your effort into worshiping God, pouring your heart out to Him, and thanking Him for what He has done and continues to do in you. It won't get better because of your great effort. Let the "saw" do the work.

Marshall Pennell

Vero Bible Fellowship Elder Team

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