Frederick's Tools

April 16, 2021
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1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (NIV)

My friend nostalgically opened the leather crafting tools that she and her granddaughter had placed in a shadow box years before. Tenderly, she touched the worn wooden handles of tools that her husband's great-grandfather Frederick had used to work. A history of his leather crafting wasn't included with the tools, but we do know that God determined his arrival on this earth for a given time and place, for His purpose. God doesn't give us gifts to elevate ourselves, but to bless others with them, to His honour and glory.

Our Lord, having all knowledge beforehand, knew that Frederick's hand would press, guide, and trim the leather into useable products to serve the people that He had in mind. When God prepares the artisan, as though imprinted through his DNA, the artist knows the right pressure, in the right direction, to create a masterpiece, as he uses the tools created for each job. We might say that God guided Frederick's hands, and that his tools survived to bless his family.

Even after we learned about Jesus Christ, salvation, or being born again into a new spiritual creation, many of us have thought that we were unusable by God. Have you ever thought that God cannot use you? Have you thought about how to discover the tools that God has given you to use in His service? Have you found your calling? Have you allowed God to sharpen and prepare your tools to be used for Him in the most effective way? This is your time. Pray and listen to what the Holy Spirit and Scripture will reveal to you. You will find — or renew — your purpose.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for the good news of the gospel. It is an honour and privilege to be ambassadors in Christ and to be tools in Your hand, to do specific work for You. We are amazed and humbled by Your encouragement to work for Your honour and glory. Amen.

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About the author:

Karen Milam <>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Karen. God bless.

    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    I hear you, Karen. Thank you for continuing your inspired writing and remembering.

    Thank you for being faithful in using your gift, that brings blessings to us today Karen.

    Thank you for this lovely email. It is very encouraging.
    May God bless you and your family during these trying times.

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for your faithful ministry through your devotionals. God is speaking to me through “Frederick’s Tools”, a message of renewal of which I have been in need.
    God bless and keep you!

    Merci for your well-crafted devotional, “Fredericks’s Tools”, especially the sentence, “When God prepares the artisan, as though imprinted through his DNA, the artist knows the right pressure, in the right direction, to create a masterpiece, as he uses the tools created for each job.”
    It brought to mind Rudyard Kipling’s poem, My New-cut Ashlar.

    Good Morning Karen
    Thank you for this today. Yes, many times I think that God cannot use me or why would God want to use me with my past before I accepted Him.
    Yes, the devil likes to keep us in doubt. I usually turn it around with his negative thoughts about me, and say, oh yes, that is the other thing God forgave.
    God bless you and have a great weekend.

    Greetings Karen,
    Thank you for another one of your thoughtful and inspiring devotionals. Yes, it is something we should really do, is ponder what work the Lord has created us to do. He has uniquely created each one of us for His purpose.
    You do a great presentation in your writings.

    Good morning Karen,
    I liked your message “God doesn’t give us gifts to elevate ourselves, but to bless others with them, to His honour and glory.” It is something that helps me keep in mind to use the gifts that God gave me for the benefit of others. I do not always remember to do this, so I appreciate the reminder. God speaks to me through devotionals to help me to honour him and not to wish that he had bestowed on me other things like a beautiful singing voice. I can still praise him with the voice I have been given.
    May you continue to use your talents to inspire and remind us of what God truly wants us to know and practice. Wishing you many blessings.

    Hello Karen,
    I have numerous friends a lot of years younger than my 96 who are saying there is nothing to do anymore. When and where is right, I love to remind them how they can use their phones to call those who can’t get out, may need a ride to the pharmacy or to church; make a double batch of banana bread or other fruit ones, and share the small loaves. I think most of us get free greeting cards in the mail from a variety of organizations, and a dollar store where you can get nice, inexpensive cards and send one to someone who needs cheering. I know how it makes me feel when I receive something special.
    Thanks, Karen.

    Another beauty, Karen!
    When I first started following Christ, I imagined I would be a renowned speaker, lead ground-breaking Christian movements etc. It’s only in the last years that I’ve accepted the humble role of an encourager; “Barnabas” one of my friends calls me.
    Thanks for reminding me to use my gifting in building up Christ’s church!

    Good morning Karen
    Inherited tools always bring emotions. I inherited a great number of tools from my dad. When we downsized, I had to get rid of them, but I did keep a few which I still use on occasion in Children’s stories in Church, especially on Father’s Day.
    But as scripture tells us, there is a time for everything.
    Thank you for writing.

    Good morning, Karen.
    Thank you for sharing both your friend’s story and how that spoke to you. Our Lord speaks to me through it, and it is an encouragement and a call to serve, indeed.
    It also reminded me that my maternal grandfather (who died before I was born) was a shoemaker, and some of his hand tools are downstairs.
    Thank you again for being a faithful channel of God’s love.

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