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“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” Proverbs 12:24 NIV

The reason it’s important to have diligent hands is because they rule.  Diligent is an adjective that means having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.  Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3 NIV).  Scripture doesn’t say this definitely, but I think He was a Master Carpenter:

A master carpenter has reached the highest designation available within the carpentry profession and indicates possession of the requisite skills, training and experience to perform any carpentry task. 

Joseph, Jesus’s earthly father, was a carpenter.  He is who taught Jesus the trade from a young age.  Working with wood takes diligence. The little experience I have with carpentry has taught me this.  Carpentry takes skill that is acquired over a long period of time. Jesus wouldn’t have had the tools we have today.  Everything He did would have been done by hand. Carpenters in Jesus’s time built doors, lintels (supports for the door), shelves, tables and cabinets.  All by hand, all diligently. When I think of Jesus doing woodwork, I think of His hands lovingly running over His finished product, not a blemish to be seen.  Slowly, patiently, He worked to create His masterpiece. Diligent hands will rule.

Diligent hands will rule.

Jesus does the same thing with us.  He is the master carpenter of our lives.  Diligently, every day He works with us. He teaches us His ways.  He gives us opportunities to follow Him deeper into a relationship with Him.  The circumstances we find ourselves in, He uses to mold us into who He created us to be.  Gently, lovinglingly, He keeps us moving forward to the finish product:

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

Every day, the Master Carpenter is whittling us into who He created us to be.  Some days He’s sanding us for a smoother surface. Some days, He’s pounding us together with others, creating friction that grows us into better disciples.  As we learn to deal with the friction that is normal in human relationships, we become better lovers of people. We learn quickly, we can’t love others without Jesus’s guidance.  Sometimes, He cuts off people from our lives for one reason or another. When He does, we shouldn’t try to chase after them, but trust that He knows best. In all things, He’s working to create the masterpiece each of us is to Him.  With diligent hands, Jesus rules our lives.

When we draw closer to Jesus, we’ll have diligent hands.  We’ll diligently spend time with Him daily, which will overflow to those around us.  We’ll learn patience, endurance and perseverance as we follow Him where He wants to take us.  With diligence our hands will rule.

Question of the Day:

How can you diligently follow Jesus today?

Further Reading: Deuteronomy 32:28-52 NIV, Luke 12:35-59 NIV, Psalm 78:56-64 NIV, Proverbs 12:24 NIV

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