The Master's GloveJuly 10, 2023
Notice all the gloves just lying around in the adjacent image. What are they good for? What can they do? Nothing! A glove by itself is unable to accomplish anything worthwhile.
We Are Like a Glove
You and I are like one of those gloves. Like us, there are all types, colors, sizes, and shapes of gloves, and various purposes for them. There are rough ones, smooth ones, soft ones and tough ones, young ones, old ones, long ones and short ones, thin ones, thick ones, strong ones, fragile ones, rich ones and poor ones. There are sophisticated ones and simple ones, attractive ones and plain ones. Some are used for sensitive, delicate purposes and others are for hard work. But all are gloves with a purpose, and like believers all are useless unless they are on the hand of the Master who can work through them to accomplish amazing things. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 ESV)
By ourselves we can do nothing, but if we allow Jesus, our Master, to work through us like a glove, then with Him:
- working through us by the power of His Holy Spirit
- directing us
- loving people through us
- giving us thoughts and promptings to guide us
- letting us feel toward them what He feels
- helping us forgive
- giving us words to say
- and letting us see things from His point of view
He can work wonders through us. He gets the glory! He is the conductor of this symphony! But by using us as gloves with His hand working through us, we get to be blessed and enjoy an up-close, first-hand, eye-witness experience of what happens next!
If God is Invited, He Can Take Our Little, and Our Whatever and Make Something Great of It!
The story is told of the great classic pianist and composer Ignace Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) who began his piano lessons at the age of six. He was a consummate master of the piano and had a brilliant career as a concert pianist.
As the story goes, he was preparing to give a concert one evening when a group of admirers came to the concert hall. One of those was a mother with her young son who was quite reluctantly taking piano lessons. She thought that by bringing him to hear the great Paderewski he would gain a renewed interest in the piano.
The young mother turned to her friends and was engaging in a conversation while the young boy was getting bored. The little boy left his seat and wandered away. Seeing a door marked “No Admittance” he promptly went right through. He found himself on a stage with a piano in the center. His attention was drawn to the beautiful ebony grand piano with its glistening white ivory keys.
Suddenly the curtains parted and a spotlight lit the grand piano. The mother returned to her seat only to find that her son was missing. Then to her horror she spotted him on stage sitting on the piano stool reaching for the ivory piano keys. He started playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
Paderewsky quickly strode up behind the boy on the piano bench, sat down beside him and put his arms around the boy and began playing a counter medley as he whispered in the lad's ear, “Go ahead, keep playing, you're doing great. That's it, keep it up. You're okay, don't listen to the noise or the audience. Come on keep going.” The audience was mesmerized as the master played alongside the novice. When they finished, the audience exploded in applause.
God Can Mold and Use Your Life
“(1) The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: (2) "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." (3) So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. (4) And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. (5) Then the word of the LORD came to me: (6) "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:1-6 ESV)
If You are His, You Are a Vessel for Honorable Use
“(20) But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" (21) Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?” (Romans 9:20-21 ESV)
Be Holy. That Means Set Apart, Different from the World, Cut from a Different Cloth. God Can Use You for Noble & Honorable Purposes
“(19) But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." (20) Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. (21) Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:19-21 ESV)
Your Body Is God's Temple
“(19) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, (21) in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (22) In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV) The Temple of God is not some building on Earth, but the collective bodies of His people indwelt by His Spirit.
“(16) Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? (17) If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV)
So What then? You are God's Temple, set apart to be Holy. God works in you and through you to do what He wants, and He can do great things through you.
“(13) for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 ESV)
Let Go and Let God
As children bring their broken toys,
with tears, for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace,
to work alone, I hung around and tried to help,
with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"how can You be so slow?"
"My child", He said, "What could I do?
You never let go!"
- Author Unknown
God can work great things through us, but we must surrender to Him, choose holiness, and let Him do His work through us. He is not looking for ability. He is looking for availability and willingness—willingness to trust and follow even if you may look foolish in so doing. But remember to focus on eternal things, ask God for His perspective—to see things as He does for eternal things are all that really matter in the end:
“(17) For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, (18) as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV)
Use Things to Get People and Not People to Get Things
This was a saying that some of the folks on my first mission trip and I coined. Many use people in every way imaginable in order to gain more stuff. The only thing of eternal value is people.
“(9) And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9 ESV)
That means use your resources to make friends, to win people so that they will make it into Heaven and you will be blessed by seeing those there whom you have won. Don't do as many do and just use people in order to climb a wrung on the ladder and acquire more things. Let God use you to love people by the love of Christ being channeled through you and to them.
The Gospel is Not a Help Wanted Sign
God does not need us nor our abilities, but He wants to work through us as we partner with Him so that He gets glory and we get to join the family business. In the process we get to enjoy the work with Him and stand in awe as we see and feel Him work through us “gloves” in order to create awe inspiring masterpieces.
You Must First Fill Up in Order to Spill Out
Remember that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to get alone with the Father and be refreshed and then He ministered to others out of the overflow.
“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself...” (Matthew 14:13 ESV) Other references: Matthew 2:22; 4:12; 12:15; 14:13; 15:21; Mark 3:7; Luke 9:10; 22:41; John 6:15; Acts 19:9; 22:29; (ESV)
We must get refilled with the Holy Spirit because as Pastor Eddie Lawrence once said, “You must get refilled because you leak.” We must receive from the Father, i.e. fill up, before we can give out, or we will burn out. Out of the overflow of:
- the love
- and intimate worship time alone with Father God
Jesus ministered to others. Dare we deviate and try to do so without following His pattern? While on the full-time mission field, my prayer was often, “Jesus, put your hand on me and use me like a glove.” Don’t just lie there on the pile as these gloves are doing, ask Jesus to put His hand into your life and use you like a glove. You will be amazed at what He will do.