The Hammer by Julie A. Sheppard
With a hammer I can build or I can crush and destroy. Using it as a tool of destruction is easy, I take the hammer and I hit an object and there it lays in pieces. I can take the same hammer and join two pieces of wood and begin to build something.
I find it fascinating that Jesus is also known as a carpenter. (Matthew 13:55 Mark 6:2-3) He built up lives. He also was on the receiving end of the blows from a hammer that drove the nails into Him, nailing Him to a cross. He was nailed to a cross to pay the price for a world full of sinners that we would be saved from the price of sin which is death. Those who have received the forgiveness of their sins have knowledge of this already. I want to focus on building and not destroying. Right now I want to ask forgiveness for anytime anything I have said or done has driven a person away from Jesus. Some might wonder why I would say this; well I have a good reason. I know in my walk with Jesus I have made many mistakes. In the beginning of my walk I was more religious and arrogant. I didn’t realize this then. I was so excited about finding Jesus and being forgiven I tried to beat it into everyone I knew that they had to do the same. Yet in doing this I was doing more to force my will upon them than acknowledging the fact that God has given the gift of free will to everyone not just to the ones who choose Jesus. If I knew then what I know now things would have been a lot different. Like a child with a hammer for the first time I broke more than I ever built. So now I want to teach how to use the hammer to build with. I am no longer a child. I am however still an apprentice to the master carpenter. I have learned to hold gently to the nail so that I can get it to pierce the wood just right that it holds before driving the nail in and splitting the wood.
How I represent the love of Jesus to everyone I come in contact with represents how I hold the hammer. Am I confident and sure? People will trust me and not run away in fear of getting hit by the hammer flying out of my hand.
Next is how do I share His Word? Am I harsh and condemning in my tone, or am I gentle and loving? The words that are spoken are they my opinion or are they His truth being spoken through me.( Proverbs 15:1 English Standard Version A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. New American Standard Bible A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. King James Bible A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.) Am I splitting the wood or piercing it with the truth where it is received?
My desire is not for me to be heard, but for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be received. It doesn’t matter who the speaker is, what matters is what is spoken and how it is spoken. A persons tone can affect if the Word is received at that moment or if the person will turn and walk away, and they can miss out on what is being said.
Sometimes you won’t even have to say a word, and people will be drawn to you. Not because of you but because Jesus is living through you and they can see Him even if they don’t know who they are seeing. They will want to know what you have, and they will want to hear what you have to say. There is a homely old adage which runs: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
Verses regarding being a carpenter
Matthew 13:55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?
Mark 6:2-3 KJV And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Verses regarding nailed to the cross
Colossians 2:14 ESV by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
NASB having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
KJV Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Verses that can be applied to being the hammer that crushes or destroys
Deuteronomy 24:14 (KJV) Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
Proverbs 10:19 ESV Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
Proverbs 13:3 ESV Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Verses for the hammer that builds and joins together
Proverbs 25:11 ESV A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
NASB Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances.
KJV A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 12:14 ESV From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
NASB A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man’s hands will return to him.
Now I must consider what I am building. Am I building a home where love will live, or a prison?
Am I building walls to keep others out, or a gate to welcome them in. Our words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 NASB Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
My mouth is a hammer the words that come out are the nails. I can build a house or a coffin. I choose to build a house that welcomes Jesus Christ in. A house is for living in the coffin is for the dead. Personally I don’t need a coffin. I have eternal life through Jesus Christ and I am sharing Him with anyone who will listen. I can’t make them listen but I will be ready to share Jesus with them when they are.
Matthew 13:55 Mark 6:2-3