The Disciple’s Toolkit

set of tool wrench
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In my garage I have a toolbox, full of various bits of kit for DIY around the house. It’s not particularly full or tidy, but it has got what I need to help me do the odd jobs I need to do. I’m not a particularly skilled DIY-er, but I can (just about) get by. Some people even have very neatly arranged tools in their garage.

Any really good self home-improver or tradesman will tell you that to do a really good job you need the right tool, and the best one you can afford. Look inside a tradesman’s toolkit and they will have tools for every occasion, and some which maybe hardly ever get used, but are there for when they need just that thing.

It’s frustrating and time-consuming when you don’t have the right tool for the job and have to go to the shop to get whatever it is. And there are times when you need that tool right now, and you don’t know where it is and haven’t time to get one. A well-stocked toolkit is a great way of being prepared for any maintenance emergency.

With the Bible, God has provided his children with a spiritual toolkit that has everything we need to know, love and serve him. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have a life to live for him, and work to do for him. Sadly, many Christians don’t realise just how richly God has provided for his children. We find ourselves in times of difficulty and we don’t know what to do, or where to look. In other words, we don’t know how to get the right tool from our toolkit.

For myself, I know from experience that I could have saved myself a whole host of problems if I had known the things I needed to know before I needed them. Whilst a tradesman continues to learn in his work on the job, the deep training and spade-work has taken place beforehand.

So Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)

That’s what God wants for us – to be fully equipped for every good work. And by every good work, I think Paul would have in mind how we deal with every arena of life, and every circumstance that comes our way.
So, on this blog I’ll be highlighting the ‘Disciple’s Toolkit‘. I’ll be looking at some of the key tools that I believe God would have us know are there, and how to use them, so that we can get them out and use them when we need to – when we’re facing suffering, or discouragement, battling with sin, facing a crisis, when we’re in a time of joy and success, and so on.
It’s always better to have your heart prepared for these times than trying to work it out when you’re in the middle of it.
In his letter to the churches, Peter says this in 1 Peter 1:13,
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. (NIV)
I like the ESV’s rendering – “preparing your minds for action…” That’s what I believe God would have us do.
And one of the most effective ways we can do this is by knowing God’s word, having his word in our heads and our hearts, so that we can reach for it and trust it when the time comes. That means two things:
1. Memorising Scripture – something I wish I had done more consistently. This is going to be my challenge to myself as well. Maybe the first things we can do is memorise one or both of the verses above.
2. Knowing the themes, promises and teaching of the Bible more clearly.
Friends, God has given us the very things we need to please him, serve him, hope in him, trust in him in any and every circumstance – his good word and his Holy Spirit to apply it. The toolkit of God’s word is ready for action – are we?

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