Lent 2018: See the Lord's Salvation: Day 29

The Skilled Workers


Today's Text: Exodus 31:1-18, Jeremiah 31:31-34, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

Exodus 31:1-18, Jeremiah 31:31-34, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

The thick wooden needles click as I methodically run the silvery blue yarn end over end. Knot after knot, I’m learning to knit. My mom recently took up the craft, so I asked her to teach me. The older I get, the more I begin to realize all she has taught me over the years. From the things I find funny, to the way I measure flour, and from my slightly defensive (i.e., aggressive) driving habits, to the way I converse at a dinner party—I see her touch on every facet of my life.

Each thing my mom has taught me throughout my life is truly a gift, some of which I’m just now beginning to appreciate. Hopefully, each of us has had someone who has guided and touched our lives in this way, be it a parent, teacher, mentor, or friend.

These dear people can pass on great gifts of wisdom, love, and inspiration. What’s so beautiful about these relationships and the many gifts, talents, and skills they bestow, is that they give us a taste of God’s love. When Jesus spoke to the crowds, He made it clear that our Father in heaven gives even greater gifts to those who ask (Matthew 7:11).

We catch an early glimpse of the Father’s gift-giving heart in our Old Testament reading for today. In the midst of outlining the intricate structures that needed to be built for keeping the covenant, we see God breathing His Spirit into the craftsman, Bezalel.

The Lord gave His people the huge task of building a holy place for Him to dwell. They were instructed to craft the tent of meeting, ark of the testimony, mercy seat, altar, holy garments, and more. I can only imagine how overwhelming it might have been to receive those blueprints from God. But the Lord did not leave His people without help. He filled Bezalel “with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship” and “gave all able men ability” to create what God commanded (Exodus 31:3,6).

Each and every time God commanded His people to act in His name, He also equipped them. Here we see a picture of a God who wants His people to succeed in the co-creation of beautiful and sacred things. He is not testing the artisans, hoping to prove their weakness. He is calling the artisans, eager to aid their victory.  

The same holds true for all who follow Jesus today. If God has called you to something, He will equip you for it. Isn’t that amazing? So often we wish the world would be different. We pray for the kingdom of heaven to come, but we don’t realize that God has given us the skills, wisdom, and the Spirit to help build His kingdom here on Earth.

God used Bezalel and the skilled artisans to build His temple, not because He needed them, but because He wanted them to participate in His mission. The Lord delights in allowing His children to be co-laborers in kingdom work (1 Corinthians 3:9). Wherever you feel God calling you to help build His kingdom, ask the Lord to equip you. You have a generous Father in heaven who is waiting to help you carry out His work.


Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

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  • Rebecca Trump

    This is beautiful and so heart opening.
    I am behind in my study but this is exactly what I needed to read today ❤️

  • Peony Noirr


  • Kylie JoSchildt

    *John Mark Comer (I thought I was saying that weird)

  • Rachael Brunelle

    Talking about Sabbath, Annie F. Downs had John Michael Comer on her podcast a few weeks ago. He talked about Sabbath in a way I’ve never heard of before and it really convicted me that I need to put this in my practice. Give it a listen!

  • Sarah Hack

    This really resonated with me today. God has called me into the entertainment industry, which can be brutal— I study theatre. It’s true that you get one hundred “no’s” for every one “yes,” and this can be very discouraging at times, especially when I’m working so hard. This was a fabulous reminder that God would never have lead me down this path if I wasn’t capable of fulfilling God’s will for my life. I’m not doing it alone. Thank you God

  • Exactly the reminder I needed today as we just landed in our new location for overseas ministry. The enemy would love to overwhelm me with feelings of inadequacy. But I need to stand on the truth of Good calling, equipping and gifting – with skills and abilities, his Spirit, and co-laborers. I am so thankful for my clear need for dependence and the generous ways God meets those needs.

  • Allison Joy

    You know it’s interesting to me that, with a bit of an exception for singing/music, the fine and performing arts are often a bit neglected, both in the church and in society as a whole. They are seen as “lesser” jobs. (Unless you are a big Hollywood actor/actress.) But I think this passage, though not directly addressing painting or dancing, makes it clear that God values the arts! God meant for this temple to be beautiful, and he had people he planned just for the craftsmanship of His temple. As mentioned in the devotion, these gifts are from God, and we shouldn’t forget that or neglect them because they seem unimportant. Use your talents for God! And using your talents for God doesn’t mean you have to only paint Biblical/religious scenes, because God’s beauty and creativity is seen everywhere.

  • Elizabeth Hite

    I’ve been thinking about the workers and God filling them with the ability to perform these tasks

  • Kathryn A.

    This is such a timely reminder. God not only equips us to participate in creating, but he equips us in the waiting as well. I feel God telling me to wait, but I need to remember that he’s working on me in the interim.

  • Love this…but I have a question, what does 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 have to do with the theme of God equipping us? Does it mean that God has written out and has already determined His plans for us?

    • Lizzieb85

      I think these verses are showing how God called & equipped Paul (& those with him) to preach the Gospel. The heart transformation that the Spirit has done in the Corinthians is the evidence & proof of the work Paul has done in teaching the Gospel. The following verses (4-6) add to this idea.

    • A

      2 Corinthians 3:1-3 helps us to understand that the purpose of the work we are do to is to change each others hearts. And yes, absolutely God has a plan to work in us and through us. Ephesians 2:10 ESV – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  • Caralee Lilly

    I found it interesting in the passage that for all who had skill He gave them a heart for that skill. So often we look at one another’s gifts and talents and attempt to do the same work but it’s the HEART. And SKILL the Lord gives us. Praise a Him that when we find what skill He has put in our hearts we will find such joy in the labour.

    • Karie

      This should be celebrated!! We should not spend time comparing our gifts, but acknowledging the fact that God designed us to complement each other to honor HIM!

  • Deborah Craytor

    I’m asking for your prayers this week, SRT sisters. My 25-year-old daughter Chelsea has had epilepsy since fourth grade and had brain surgery for it in ninth grade. She continues to have problems despite her medications, so she entered the hospital this morning for a three- to five-day procedure in which they will actually try to induce seizures. She’s in another state, and neither my husband nor I can be with her. To top it off, she gets married in less than two weeks, and I am so worried that some adverse effect from this test will rear its ugly head. Thank you for being the wonderful community you are!

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for your Chelsea – for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan through this testing and that there will be no lingering effects from it. And that she will walk down that aisle in two weeks thinking only of her wonderful future.

    • Laura

      Prayers that the doctors treating her will be guided by the Holy Spirit to properly and efficiently diagnose her and give her effective treatment, and blessings on her upcoming marriage!

    • Gina Glennon

      Praying dear sister for the Lord’s mercy, kindness and healing for your daughter and for your peace in the midst of miles that separate you. Courage in Christ!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for sharing this Deborah, we’re praying for your daughter during this time and for your family! We’re so grateful that you’re here. -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Julie

      Absolutely praying!!! Echoing others in strong prayers for definitive diagnosis and an effective treatment plan with out any side effects. I will pray for complete healing and that she has a beautiful wedding day:) I pray that she is received at the hospital with great care and that the medical staff will be attentive to her needs, administering all that she needs for a full and complete recovery.

      I went through a tough period this past year with my 20 year old daughter. As a mom I know what you are going through. It’s so difficult to watch your kids even your adult kids go through these experiences. I was scared and worried and exhausted and angry and then I was hopeful and faithful and reminded to put my trust and faith in the Lord. I know He saw us through and he had us in His care. Today my daughter needs to be mindful of her health. She has been back to daily life although she had to take a step away from school and driving but now she is working her way to getting back to those tasks and I am hopeful for her continued success.

      Remember to take care of yourself. I know you can’t be with her but I am sure you will be in contact as much as allowed. Give this to God. Praying that both you and your daughter feel His love surrounding her. Blessings!

      • Julie

        I really want this to be about my prayer for Chelsea but shared my daughter’s story to just give comfort and to let you know I truly understand where you are coming from here. I realized I mentioned she had to be mindful of her health but really she is doing well now. Her symptoms are well managed and she is in good health. Just thought I’d add that to also offer further assurances. Okay I have written your names and prayers down and will be thinking of you.

    • Bessie

      I’m praying for Chelsea and all of your family. May you be aware of God holding you closely and may your hearts trust Him that the outcome is what He ordains for you. Hold onto the knowledge that He loves Chelsea even more than you do. Let us know how it goes!

    • Deborah Craytor

      Thank you all for your prayers. The doctors have determined that the “spells” she has been experiencing on almost a daily basis are, in fact, partial complex seizures. They will be changing her medications (good), but they are also taking away her driver’s license (bad). I thank the Lord that she has not had any seizure-related car accidents, but I’m worried about how she will be able to work if she can’t drive. When she called me in tears a few minutes ago, I reminded her to take this situation to God and that maybe He has something else planned for her if she’s stuck at home, but I’m having a hard time taking my own advice. Please continue to pray for us!

      • Heather N (MNmomma)

        Praying for you and your sweet girl…..while I have not lost my license, I have been unable to work this past year due to a medical condition, which has been a HUGE shift for our family. It has been amazing though to see how God has provided. He has opened doors I never would have dreamed possible and has lit a fire in my heart. I have been able to truly dig into His word, and am helping others and serving in a unique way that I never would have dreamed of doing before…..yes, the finances are a major issue, but God has provided…..and I pray that He continues…..I will be praying for y’all…

  • Jen ManligPickett

    Sometimes it’s hard to know if what I for work is truly what God has called me to do. The work is emotional and can take a lot out of me-and I many times feel ill equipped or lacking the emotional capacity or patience to do the work set before me. I’ll take comfort In this word that He will equip me, and that He will provide patience and skill

    • Caralee Lilly

      You will know it’s from a God because not only will you have the skill and patience but it will be in your heart, your passion and bring you joy!

    • Natasha Reyes

      Thank you Jen and Caralee! I too am going through a time of questioning in my professional life. I sometimes feel like a square peg in a round hole. Today’s reading and your words (He will provide the skill and it will bring joy) will help me in my reflections.

  • Sabrina Michelle

    I’m so thankful for being able to rightfully divide the word. In today’s lesson we see two different covenants, one given to the people of Israel that they could not keep and one given after the cross. A new Covenant, that is written in our hearts. Jesus has made it possible for us to receive a relationship with our Father that does not require performance, it requires believing in the finished works of Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you along the way. Be refreshed❤️❤️❤️

  • Heather Shores

    I wish I could like some of these messages. They are wonderful to read!

  • Heather Shores

    I am going through a very painful break up. I know that has little to do with the lesson today but I am thankful for this community of women.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for healing for your heart and strength to move forward, with the assurance that God loves you and He continues to work in your life.

    • Gina Glennon

      So sorry! May the love of Christ He has for you comfort and overwhelm you.

    • Shari Remmenga

      Praying for comfort and peace for you

    • amarose10

      Praying that you would be able to feel God’s arms around you, holding you during this time. I was where you were not that long ago and it was hard and awful but God brought me through it and he will do the same for you. Cling to him, cry out to him and know that he has plans for you that include more than you could ever ask or imagine. He can bring new life out of darkness and work in any situation to bring something good. Wait on him and rest in him while you wait. Use this time to pursue God and let him heal your heart. It will get better even if it doesn’t seem like it ever could. Psalm 107 is a great passage that got me through the hard parts.

    • Mary Hairston

      So sorry you are hurting.

  • Bezalel and the other skilled workers built the ark, the tabernacle and all its furnishings for the glory of God. This is a great reminder that our work should always be done for his glory. I am reminded of the craftsman, most of whose names are lost to history, who built the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Every part of these cathedrals was beautifully decorated to glorify God — even those parts, high up in the ceilings, which would never be viewed by anyone.

  • Ivey Broxton

    So very interesting and convicting that He states one of the only – main ways His love and legacy to be passed through the generations is by taking a Sabbath. I work in the medical field and have always worked on Sundays – which for me was so difficult early on – and now seems difficult to take a rest on any other day – but I am so trying to let my body rest in Him and think of things of Him – worship Him – learn about Him. I find myself with a constant to do list – and guilt can creep in if I can’t check everything off – but it is Jonah to say to my family – it is my rest day – to teach them this commandment early in life – to see balance in Christian life -

    • Ruth Lorentz

      I hope you you can put aside time for rest and refreshment and that it strengthens you and your family.

  • Kerry Campbell

    The people were faithful in the work that God had ordained for them, using their unique talents to glorify God, yet they fell apart while waiting for Moses to descend down the mountain, even making their own ‘god’, the golden calf. I think of how fired up I am when I am working for God, singing at church, or teaching, or writing…how easily that all clicks into place, and yet how quickly I can fall apart when called to wait on an answer or a promise. I am sure I have made my own gods in those moments, just to have something to focus on, and it’s crazy. I am learning to faithfully wait.

  • Cathy Brase

    What struck me today was that God does not need me, he wants me to help in his mission! It would be EASY for God to show us all He is God, but he WANTS me to Help in his mission and will equip me to do it! What a great thought, he WANTS me, so how can I share His love today?

  • Churchmouse

    I am not a ‘crafty’ person – I can’t even operate a glue gun. But I do appreciate those who have been blessed with such talent. I’m constantly amazed at the unique gifts God gives to His people in community. So often, where one lacks, another abounds. One complements another and blessing is there for all. It is another example of how generous and creative our God is. He equips His followers to build up the body and we are all gifted in one way or another. I’m grateful for each gift put to His good use.

  • Danielle Garzone

    i agree with Kahli and Penny, i will be thinking about the sabbath as i go into this new week. just yesterday i found myself frustrated that i was unable to run errands due to certain places being closed on sunday. i have always respected a businesses decision to do this but yesterday i found myself grumpily asking why things weren’t open to cater to my day off “in this day and age”. something to honestly think about. we need rest and not just time to do nothing but time to dive into the word and reconnect with Jesus.

  • Wendy McSwain

    I think it’s interesting that in the same passage he gives us the ability to do the work we are called to do, and commands us to rest from that work. God gives the pattern for successful work/life balance. What could be better than fulfilling, creative work and a set way to recharge from your efforts? Thank you for this one of your countless provisions for us, Lord!

  • Libby Kosciuszko

    I have been stale in my walk lately. I feel empty, lonely and the past demons of regret, anxiety and shame have been trying to overwhelm me. But I also know that I haven’t been taking the time to truly seek and listen to the Holy Spirit. I have been praying for the past week that God would show me what He wants me to do to further the kingdom. This is a great reminder that not only do I have a purpose, but He already has the path laid out and He has equipped me with the “tools” I need. It’s amazing how these devotionals will line up with what God knows you need. So thankful for these women that take the time to study and write to help us in our journey!

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so grateful that you’re a part of our community Libby! We’re praying for continued encouragement for you during this time. -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Bunny

      I love that you addressed “past demons of regret, anxiety and shame” I believe we ALL feel this way. I know that I sure do. I am walking down this road with the devil reminding me of all my past sins, but we have to remember that God forgives us and it is us that have a hard time forgiving ourselves! Just talking about when my son broke his femur and I didn’t believe him, I get sick to my stomach and start feeling terrible. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda Rockett

      Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable Libby. I am praying for you today ❤️

  • A powerful devotional!! Thanks Katie! I love the SRT community. I want to ask for prayers for my husband and I. We were talking about how do keep listening to God and seeking him throughout our days and week. We both tend to find our meaning in work (which is a God-given blessing to begin with) and rely on our own strength. Would love prayers to continue to seek the Holy Spirit in our day to day lives and glorify God, not ourselves, with our work.

    • Mary

      Praying for you and your husband, Katie! I know He will be so faithful to you guys as you continue to seek to glorify Him!

  • Jessica McCreary

    Great reminder of how He will equip us for what He wants us to do for the kingdom! ❤️

  • Penny McAuley

    I grew up with a father who believed in keeping the sabbath day holy and a time to rest. He never allowed shopping or chores to be done on Sunday. He has been gone for many years now, but as I look at this passage today and Kahli question it strikes me that he was never stressed or overwhelmed by his work. I have not kept the same discipline in my life and constantly feel stressed and overwhelmed by my work. Think there is a lesson for me here. Enjoyed the commentary this morning!

    • Shannon Davison

      I’ve heard it said, “God can do more with my 6 Days then I can do with 7”. Good reminder to always give it all for God and he’ll work it out.

  • As a graphic designer those verses about God´s provision for the artists spoke to my heart in a special way. I love that he gave them His spirit in order to fulfill their work. So often I have experienced that God gave me an idea or helped me to finish a task I wasn´t sure I could handle. And since I started to post bible truths on social media I can confirm that he uses my humble efforts to speak to people who usually don´t bother with Christian truths … Yes, we are a letter, written by Christ (love that thought as well!) and though we are so different in our character, surroundings and skills, His handwriting will shine through – if we only let him. :)

    • Kristine Loughman

      Love this! Jesus was like God’s love letter to us, wooing us. Now we are his love letter to others.

  • Kahli Harvey

    What struck me this morning is the consequences for not doing sabbath: death and isolation. If I believe the laws and consequences are descriptive and not prescriptive necessarily, then what does that say about the consequences of refusing to rest?

    • Jess Harvey

      Ha—- you’re reading this study too? I’m a few days behind but I see someone say your name and was like…. wait a minute.

    • Jess Harvey

      So to clarify you are talking about act of the sabbath or a literal Sabbath day and the laws of the Sabbath?

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