Good Morning Brothers…
Many of you know that I am spending some quiet time this week in Montana. The mountains are still snow capped and the lakes are a deep shade of blue. The coffee is hot and the peace and quiet is much needed. God has placed many wonderful God fearing friends around me…one of those guys is my “battle buddy”. We like to take on some of the deep questions about our faith and wrestle with those ideas and corresponding Biblical passages. This mornings devotional is courtesy of my “battle buddy”…enjoy.
It is fairly uncommon to find unity in difference. We live in a world where we are connected to or separated from each other by what we agree or disagree on. John and I might be the exception to the rule. I have found many times that the more we disagree on matters of theology, culture, and philosophy the closer we become. But how is this…? Especially in a world where we tend to distance ourselves with others of different views? I can tell you how…. it’s simply that John and I both have a love for Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth that supersedes any difference we may have.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
I can tell you that one of John’s favorite phrases and the heading to Treestand Devotionals is, “Nothing happens with a dull sword… nothing.” This isn’t just a quip that he likes to state… he genuinely lives by it. And when John and I leave an intense Biblical discussion we are sharper than before. The world needs sharper men; men who are sharpened by the flint of God’s word. I’m not going to say that John and I are sharp (we’ve both agreed that if we were in a room full of theologically, philosophically, or Biblically minded people we would be rightfully seated at the kiddy table), but I can tell you that John and I both desire to operate sharper in the world that we live in.
In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Paul says, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
You see, John and I live in the same world; the world that Christ created. But we live in very different worlds in terms of our interests. John in the hunting world; me in the automotive world. John is a hunter and I’m a classic car restorer. Both of us would be just as lost as the other if we traded hobbies for a day. (John once had to inform me that deer do not have horns, but antlers… if that shows you how much I know!) In both of our worlds though, we have followed the Apostle Paul’s example, “to become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”
So you’re probably wondering why a classic car restorer is writing a “Treestand Devotional”. Well, a treestand is simply a place to “get a better view”. That better view in the spiritual sense is where God has placed you to see His world and to be equipped to minister in that world. Every week John writes about the view that he has from his “treestand”. My treestand would be staring at a project vehicle, yet seeing the finished outcome. As I look at a vehicle in need of complete restoration I can see how Lord views us. He sees us in all of our broken mess, yet he sees the completed and glorious restoration at the same time. To most people a car in need of complete restoration has no real value, but to the owner the car is invaluable. To God, His projects are priceless. Inevitably, there is always a struggle at some point during the restoration to correct some current state of disrepair. But the repair must happen, no matter the struggle. By His love for us, He is willing to restore us, no matter what state of disrepair we are in. He is willing to be patient and spare no expense (even at the cost of His Son) to restore us to right relationship with Him. And finally, the outcome is meant for the owner’s pleasure. God’s greatest pleasure is found at the end of His restoration process when we enjoy Him for all eternity.
So that is one view from my treestand. We live as Paul did – as a free people. Free to live under God’s umbrella of righteousness. Free to enjoy the passions and pursuits that He has planted in our hearts. Free to do these things for His glory. And His glory is found in drawing all people to Christ. So whatever we do, we do it to lift high the name of Jesus Christ. We find unity in Him, no matter our differences. We allow Christ to permeate every part of our lives, whether we are a hunter or a restorer. No matter the difference in our treestands, for He sees no difference from His treestand.