Vol.6, No. 03– January 17, 2021
Wood Chips or Peanuts . . .
Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. –Philippians 2:12 NLT
You have read about him, Johann Gutenberg. I often run across background information on people, often it is stunning. Johann tended pigs. So, in Germany, he was known as a swineherder. I am not sure how that looks on a resume. Yet this man of lowly occupation (1400-1468) used his spare time to make letters out of odd wood chips. On an occasion, one of the carved letters fell into a tub of purple dye. When he snatched it out, it fell onto a choice piece of vellum.
Now when Johann picked up that mess, he discovered that the press of the letter upon the vellum showed a clear marking.
Johann Gutenberg was used of God to propagate the Scriptures through a printing press during the days of the Reformation. From a pigsty to a printing press. Who would have thought?
God chooses to use His people. He watches them as they function in their daily tasks. If you have not noticed, daily tasks are where character grows. Men and women who put their salvation into action (the NASV uses the phrase, work out their salvation), is not an offering that we can work for our salvation. Scripture never contradicts itself.
The phrase, work out, in Paul’s day was also used for working a gold mine (there were many in the mountain region of Philippi). Work out all that is valuable which God had already worked in.
Work out is also a picture of a farmer working their field, so that when fall comes, there will be a successful crop. God has expectations of each created new life; when that new life follows after God, God uses that man or woman to work out their bringing glory to the Lord because of their salvation.
Gutenberg used a chip of wood.
A slave boy out of Diamond Grove, Missouri, made butter, oil, cheese, dye-stuff, face powder, breakfast food, printer’s ink, pickles, instant coffee, axle grease, and 276 other things—all out of peanuts.
That slave boy became a professor at Tuskegee University, and worked out paint from clay, marble from wood shavings, starch, paste, vinegar, ink, shoe blacking, molasses, and caramels—out of sweet potatoes.
He was George Washington Carver.
Wood chips or peanuts . . . it is according to the power that God works in us so that we might work out those things that bring glory to God in our salvation. What are you doing with what God has worked in you?