The Sharpening Stone – (Living In Community)
I used to love romantic comedies. Today, my favorite movies are about fighting evil. The greatest evil-fighting movies ever are J.R.R. Tolkeinâ€™s Lord of the Rings trilogy. One thing I love about LOTR is that fighting evil isnâ€™t just up to the men. The women get to join the fight.
And they use swords to do it.
The Bible speaks of swords, too, calling Godâ€™s Word the â€śsword of the Spirit.â€ť (Ephesians 6:17)
One of the basic principles of Christianity is our belief that the Bible is inspired by God. The Bible is Godâ€™s Word written for us to read, understand and apply to our lives. Scripture is so powerful when understood and applied, that it is a real weapon, which can protect us and help fight evil.
Even a blunt, jagged sword is good to have. But a sharp sword is even better. Proverbs 27:7 tells us:
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Sharpen a stick of iron until its edges are a pointed blade and it becomes a sword. If scripture is the Holy Spiritâ€™s sword, then sharpening our understanding of it makes it a better weapon. â€śOne person sharpening anotherâ€ť means is that being in fellowship with other Christians helps us sharpen our faith. The early Christians struggled to understand and live their new faith. So:
They devoted themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
They devoted themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching. We have the apostlesâ€™ teaching, too. All written out for us. Itâ€™s called the New Testament.
Scripture. Bible reading and study. Are we devoted to it? Do we have a group of believers who are also devoted to doing life as followers of Jesus?
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
All of us have friends, co-workers, family members, and acquaintances who are unbelievers. But do we also have a group of friends who love Jesus and are trying to live according to his teachings?
Do we have a group of people with whom we can learn together? Grow together? Pray together? Come together in fellowship and praise? To do for each other, lift each other up and keep each other accountable?
Who can we rely on to help us sharpen our understanding of Godâ€™s Word? So that the sword of the Spirit in us can be kept sharp?
Jesus is called the â€ścornerstoneâ€ť of Godâ€™s plan. (Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Zechariah 10:4; Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:19-21; 1 Peter 2:6; 1 Peter 2:7)
In ancient times, swords were sharpened by holding them against a rotating grinding stone. Today, sharpening stones are a common and effective way to sharpen knives. I like to think of Jesusâ€”the cornerstoneâ€”as a sharpening stone for a really big sword. The sword of the Spiritâ€”which is the Word of God.
Lord of the Rings showed us that women too can battle evil with swords. The most powerful sword is the Word of God, made sharper when we learn and grow in fellowship with others who love Jesus.
Who do you know who would be willing to join you in fellowship to learn more about Jesus and develop your relationship with Him?