My scripture today is John 10:22-30 . The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.1 ... You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.
2 ... You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.
3 ... You will be able to correct mistakes you will make.
4 ... The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.
5 ... On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart. Today’s message is The Power of the Pencil: 5 Things You Can Learn From Your Writing Utensil. The first thing you need to do is Allow Yourself to Be Held
Just like a pencil, in the hand of the right person, can do some amazing things, you can do amazing things if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand.
A pencil can make beautiful drawings in the hand of an artist.
A pencil can craft amazing stories in the hand of a writer.
A pencil can solve the most complex algebraic equations in the hand of a mathematician.
A pencil can sketch the most perfect blueprint in the hand of an architect.
A pencil can write the most touching note in the hands of a loved one.
But in the wrong hands, a pencil can become useless or worse, used for the wrong things. In the hand of a two-year old, a pencil becomes a dangerous toy.
The child stares at the pencil adoringly before placing it in his mouth where it can do a lot of harm.
In the hand of an enraged fiancé, a pencil becomes a dangerous weapon. Pictionary wasn’t her favorite game, and she wasn’t the best at it. And as the game wore on, emotions were high, the adrenaline was rushing, and my brother and his then fiancé got into a heated battle. The outcome- stabbed with a pencil.
In the hand of an ill-tempered teenager, a pencil becomes an instrument of perverse language on the stall of the bathroom.
But we’re like the pencil, in the sense, that we have the ability and the capacity to do some pretty awesome things as long as we’re in the right hands. In the hand of God, your possibilities are endless. Your story is as yet untold, but your life is being written by the hand of God. Allow yourself to be placed in the Father’s hand and see the amazing things you can do.
The next thing we need to do is Get Sharpened. Just like a pencil has to be sharpened to become better, you can be sharpened by going through various problems and trials, but it will indeed make you a stronger person. In James 1:2-4 we find these words: 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Our troubles, though not brought on by God, are used by God to make us a stronger person. Jesus promised us that in this world, trouble would come our way, but he didn’t stop there. He said that He’s overcome the world, and thus, because he’s in us, we’re world overcomers, too. I’m sure we can look back on our lives and remember some tough times. But when we think about it, we’ve come through, and it’s made us stronger. I remember some tough times myself. My dad had lost his job and it was Christmas. We went for three months with no salary coming in….and my mom was a stay at home mom. My mom got a job as a made at an apartment complex in Palm Beach to make ends me. We prayed a lot….and eventually my dad got a job. That was a tough time, but you know, I look back on that, and I can see the hand of God sharpening me and making me better. I never once blamed God, because I knew that it wasn’t His will for me to go through that. Instead, we looked to God to provide and through it all He helped us to persevere and come out on top. So you may be going through something that the enemy’s thrown at you, but I encourage you to allow God to sharpen you through this time and work His perfect will so that you’ll come out on top. In Romans 8:28 we are told: 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.The third point is that we need to Correct Mistakes. Just like a pencil has an eraser to be able to correct mistakes, you, through the grace of God, can correct mistakes and grow through them. In 2 Timothy 3:16: 16Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Paul writes to Timothy and says that Scripture can be used to correct our mistakes. And Scripture prompts us to do things about the mistakes we’ve made. One thing it tells us to do is to confess our sins. 1 John 1:9 is one of my favorite verses about confessing our sins. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. How many of us have made mistakes? I know I have. Some of our mistakes have to do with other people. We get in arguments, we say things we don’t mean, we yell “I hate you” from the very pit of our selfishness, only to feel such remorse after the thought of what we’ve done sets in. How do you correct such a mistake? Well, Scripture helps us out there, too especially in Ephesians 4:26: 26"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. Basically, take care of it real quick. Go and apologize for what was said. Set things straight. For every mistake we may have made, God has an answer, and a measure we can use to correct it.
The fourth point is that It’s What’s on the Inside. Just like a pencil’s most important part is the lead that’s inside, it’s what’s on the inside of us that’s important. The part of usthat makes us who we are is what’s on the inside. 2 Corinthians 5:17 - 17Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! How many times have I heard my parents say….never judge a book by it’s cover….It’s what’s on the inside. A lot of people look at the outside to judge someone. They only care about appearance or stature. But it’s not about what’s on the outside. It’s not about the clothes you wear, or how you style your hair. It’s not about your weight or your height. It’s not about your face or your teeth. It’s not about your eyes or your nose. It’s not about how much money you have. It’s not about how popular you are. It’s about what’s on the inside. 1 Samuel 16:7 says: 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Our hearts are the most important part. Our hearts is who we are. And if we live our lives like our heart’s the most important part, then our heart will show through, above and beyond our outer appearance. It’s our hearts that’s going to move us forward. It’s our heart that’s going to help us succeed.
My last point is: Leave Your Mark. Just like a pencil’s purpose is to leave its mark, you are to leave your mark wherever you go. No matter what the situation, you must continue to serve God in everything. No matter where you go, you can make a difference. You can leave behind a legacy. You can influence people and do it by just being yourself. You don’t have to fit into the in crowd. You don’t have to give in to the peer pressure. You don’t have to follow everyone else. Colossians 3:17 - “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” You’ll make your mark by being you. You’ll make your mark by standing up for God. You’ll make your mark by declaring your faith.