Day 29

The Skilled Workers



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

BY Guest Writer

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.

SRT-Lent2018-Instagram-Day29

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.

Post Comments (66)

66 thoughts on "The Skilled Workers"

  1. Diane says:

    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.

  2. Allison Joy says:

    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.

  3. Elizabeth Hite says:

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

  4. Kathryn A. says:

    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.

  5. Sarah D. says:

    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?

    1. Lizzieb85 says:

      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.

    2. A says:

      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.

  6. Caralee Lilly says:

    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.

    1. Karie says:

      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!

  7. Deborah Craytor says:

    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!

    1. Churchmouse says:

      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.

      1. valerie says:

        yes Lord!
        make it so!

    2. Laura says:

      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!

    3. Gina Glennon says:

      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!

    4. She Reads Truth says:

      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

    5. Julie says:

      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!

      1. Julie says:

        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.

    6. Bessie says:

      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!

    7. Deborah Craytor says:

      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!

      1. Heather N (MNmomma) says:

        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…

  8. Jen ManligPickett says:

    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

    1. Caralee Lilly says:

      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!

    2. Natasha Reyes says:

      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.

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