The Board, The Bowl and The Box

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Christian, Woodworking
Tags: , ,

One of the benefits I enjoy from my woodworking hobby is the number of objects lessons it provides toward understanding Biblical truths.  Jesus was a woodworker, so the lessons should not surprise me.  But, the truths learned are often amazing.

Some time back, I asked a question in my Facebook status:  “What can a BOARD, a BOWL and a BOX show us about sacrifice?”  I included with it an invitation to join me in Sunday School for the rest of the story.

That Sunday morning I walked into class with three items; a board, a plate (shallow bowl) and a box to use as object lessons.

Board Bowl Box

How, on Earth, do these items help illustrate sacrifice?

Sacrifice can be defined as:  Giving something of value for the benefit of, or the attainment of something of greater worth.

This board was nearly ten feet long, when I purchased it.  At $9 a board foot, the board itself is certainly something of value.  So far this board has yielded the plate and the box shown in the picture, as well as pens and a few smaller items back home.

The beginning of the lesson discussed defining and demonstrating sacrifice.  Transforming sections of the board into other useful items requires some measure of sacrifice.  Sacrifices like taking time to measure and cut carefully; waiting for glue to dry; sanding over and over until completely smooth; and waiting for each coat of finish to dry before adding another.  Each step in the process required sacrificing something of value (sawdust, glue, time) to obtain a finished product of greater value.

The final passage in the lesson provided the best illustration.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV):  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Paul makes a strong appeal to believers to live a lifestyle that honors Christ.  The phrase “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” in Greek is a specific phrasing meaning dedicate, consecrate and devote.  Paul appears to be using the word bodies to include their entire selves, not just their physical bodies.

Their entire selves, including thoughts, attitudes, motives, words and deeds.  Put another way, everything that identifies them as themselves.  Everything that identifies you as yourself.  Everything that identifies me as myself.

Living sacrifices, honoring God in our daily behavior.  We are called to be holy, set apart for His service and demonstrating moral purity.  Our lifestyles pleasing to God.

In other words, we are called to sacrifice the IDENTITY OF SELF to attain on the IDENTITY OF CHRIST.

Back to the board, the bowl and the box.  Eventually the remainder of this board will cease to be identified as a board.  Its identity as a board sacrificed.  Transformed into something of greater value, designed to fulfill a greater purpose.

Our calling is an identity, designed to fulfill a purpose greater than ourselves.

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