Written by Ken Paulin, Jr.
Proverbs 27:17 - Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
John 15:12-13 - “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
Acts 2:44-47 - "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
The most important piece of equipment in ice hockey is our skates. Each skate has one blade and each blade has 2 edges, which allow us to dig in and propel ourselves around the ice. However, if those edges are dull from lack of attention, damage, or worse yet, sharpened improperly, we are not as effective, despite our level of skill and potential.
The same is true with our faith. Just as the iron stone sharpens the iron blades on our skates so we can perform at our best. We too can sharpen eachother’s faith. When I was playing youth hockey, I went to Canada to play with my team. My skates were dull, so even though I didn’t know the rink or the guy sharpening skates, I assumed he knew what he was doing. However, he didn’t. As I stepped on the ice, I couldn’t skate. The blades were far worse than they were before they were sharpened. My coach thought they were too sharp, so we tried to dull them on the wooden bench, we tried several adjustments so that I could play, but I couldn’t. The guy I thought I could trust to help me be my best, actually made me worse. It wasn’t until I got back to the trusted sharpener at my rink, that I was shown the error made by the other guy and had it corrected.
As Christians it is important for us to seek out our Christian Brothers and Sisters to disciple us and hold us accountable. It is even more important for us to disciple others. In Matthew 28:18-20: Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus is instructing us to continue His teachings as we go out and serve others in His name.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Through this we know that Jesus was encouraging us to seek others to pray with and to encourage each other in our faith walk, for when we are gathered in numbers, He promises to be with us.
We also know from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
No matter how hard we try, we can’t do it alone, we need others to come along side us and help us sharpen (develop) our faith properly. We also need to make sure we select the right people to partner with, for as illustrated in the skate story above, if you go to the wrong person for correction, you may end up worse off than before. Jesus warned us in Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
When we’re training our bodies by lifting weights, don’t we usually have someone there to spot us and encourage us? Someone to push us to get that very last rep, and to assist us when we just don’t have the strength to do it ourselves? When we train our faith, it is no different. We need people to encourage us, to push us to be our best, and to help us when we don’t have the strength to do it ourselves. This is what the first Christians did after Christ was resurrected and ascend into Heaven. Acts 2:44-47 tells us that "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." At a time when it wasn’t popular to be a Christian, they were there to support and help eachother.
So go out and sharpen your faith by finding Christian brothers and sisters with whom you can disciple each other and hold each other accountable, as you walk in faith with the Lord. We can’t do it alone, we need the support, guidance, and wisdom of others.
Posted on Tue, April 21, 2015
by Rick Randazzo