Iron Sharpens Iron

iron

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

Hello Friends,
I wanted to share with you some thoughts that have been on my heart lately.
Iron sharpens Iron…
So first, partially because I cannot help myself, I figured I would get a few details out-of-the-way. The picture above is not the best representation of what I am talking about because it is steel, not pure iron. Without going too crazy into it. You can read more about steel and iron here.
Additionally, I am not sure if the scripture above was referencing pure iron or alloy of some from; in some respects, it doesn’t change the points I am going to make as to what is was specifically referencing.
Finally, those who like a bit of historical perspective the date to when this particular proverb was originally written is unknown. This proverb is considered one of the proverbs that were collected by scribes of King Hezekiah, who reigned from 715 to 686 B.C. When the Book of Proverbs was not written exactly is unknown but believed to be not before 1000 B.C. or after 200 B.C., but somewhere in the middle. This puts this scripture possibly after wrought iron (similar to steel) is developed and during the Iron Age when the iron was used to make weapons and tools.
Now that is out-of-the-way….

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

To me, this scripture shows us many things in this simple proverb.

First, it shows we need people. We need each other. But this is not a new concept to us we see all throughout the Bible here are a few examples…

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.

But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16 

 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:12-13 

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Romans 14:19 

Second, it shows action and relationships. Even in the verses above I mentioned regarding the first point we see action and relationships:

  • Sharpening
  • Toiling together
  • Keeping warm
  • confessing
  • exhorting
  • upbuilding

But even more than that the relationship. This is not a one-sided relationship. There is a mutual benefit, mutual sharpening, ahh… just go ahead and put mutual after all the bullets above 🙂

One person said it like this, “Conversation promotes intelligence.” I think it is in the different perspectives of others that we each are able to grow. BUT we will not grow if we are having only a one-sided conversation, at least one of the two will not grow.

Third, it shows something possibly looked over at first. They are both made of the same thing, iron.

I am a digger, in that I mean I like to know things. For example, for this article, I look into things that I shared with you at the beginning about iron and such. Sometimes, this digging has gotten me into trouble because when digging I wasn’t prepared. I mentioned here the importance of being prepared when digging into things. Make no mistake the coward is waiting for you to be unprepared.

However, even more than that when digging. I have to consider the source… not all articles out there especially ones on science and history are from a Christian viewpoint. This can easily be forgotten but need to be remembered. I digress.

I gave my son this example when I was talking to him about this verse and it is fitting so I will share with you.

 When carving a stick what happens to your knife? It goes dull. Similarly, when we are friends with the world or are trying to witness to the world, or in my case researching in the world, we can go dull.

When using the knife and steel (pictured above)  what happens when we rub those together? The knife gets sharper. This is similar to when we have friends/relationships with fellow believers. Except in our case, we both get sharper.

WE  NEED fellow believers in our lives so we can sharpen each other. We must be careful who we choose to converse with because their influence upon can go in either direction; for better or for worse.

Finally, was going to share with you about twos. However, I am going to throw out a few points and let you do the research. (take it or leave it) We see pairs when in relationships throughout the bible:
  • God and Adam
  • Adam and Eve
  • Jesus sent the disciples out in twos
  • Scripture tells us where two or more are gathered together…
  • being convicted talks about having at least two witnesses
  • even in revelation there are the two witnesses

So research those things it is pretty neat.

All that to say…

We need each other. Do you have your iron? If not, get some iron!

 

As always friends,

Be Blessed!

An easy yoke

cow

Hello friends,

So it’s been a little bit since I last wrote on here and I would like to blame the holiday activities or other things I have been getting into but if I were truly quite honest I would admit I have been in a funk.

You see, I have been under attack by the coward and I didn’t realize it. I was feeling the weight of every sin I have ever done, either past or present, weight on my shoulders. I was praying about it asking God why was he revealing these things to me. What was I missing?

I try my very best to turn from sin and repent. So why did these things keep coming back to mind like a tired movie? At first, I thought maybe God was trying to show me something. (We always blame or look to Him for the reason of our pain first…. don’t we… I wonder why we do that…or rather why I do that)

So I began to sink low… trying to take captive the thoughts that seemed to be invading me… thoughts telling me I was worthless…thoughts telling me I didn’t deserve the love of Christ.

Writing it out I can clearly see that it was not God telling me these things, but feeling them, I couldn’t see it. However, I kept doing what I know is true; what I know to do when I am in a low place.

I prayed, prayed continually all day long. I read my Bible. I did the things He has currently called me to do. (except write here) I served my family and others.

The other day, I heard God speak through my fog and gave me this verse.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

His yoke is easy… what I was feeling wasn’t easy. The burden I was carrying wasn’t light. That’s when I realize I was under attack.

Friends you cannot defend yourself if you don’t know you are under attack!

On a side note, every time I hear ‘yoke’, especially, in combination with ‘easy’, I think of the eggs. lol But that is not the yoke the Bible is talking about here. In the picture above, what is around the necks of those animals is the yoke the scripture is referring to.

So after that verse, the fog I had begun to disappear. However, it wasn’t until reading my Bible the other morning it is had completely dissipated and the truth was crystal clear.

I was reading this….

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

The Call of Jeremiah

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”  But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.”

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land.

For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 

And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands.

But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you.

Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.

And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 1

They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

Jeremiah 1

Do you see that? I put them in bold here and highlighted them in my Bible but I will list them below. This is what God is doing/has done:

  • I formed you
  • I knew you
  • I consecrated you 
  • I appointed you 
  • I am with you to deliver you
  • I have put my words in your mouth
  • I have set you
  • I am watching
  • I am calling all
  • I will declare my judgments
  • I command you
  • I make you
  • I am with you

His yoke is EASY, His burden is LIGHT. I was feeling about as opposite of that as I could possibly feel.

Friends, the coward is trying to make you feel like you are worthless…. like every time you fail God doesn’t love you…. Like you will never make it.

The truth is we are not perfect. We will not make it without Jesus Romans 6:23. God knows you and He loves you with all of your shortcomings.

He formed us.

He is watching.

He is with us.

Don’t let the enemy pull you into the pit of doubt.

He has appointed you to do something for His will, the coward will try to stop that at all costs. Just remember…

His yoke is EASY, His burden is LIGHT.

 

As always friends,

Be Blessed!