A friend of mine posted a picture yesterday on FaceBook showing some of his father’s tools and the memories that came flooding back each time he used them. That led others, including myself, to post photos of some of the tools we each have from earlier generations in the family. I also recalled my childhood days when Grandpa and I worked in his basement on special “projects” together.
He was the one who taught me to love tinkering with things and he had every imaginable tool in his workshop. One of the things that I noticed early on was the fact that his hammers, wrenches and many other tools all had tree notches ground in the handle. Grandpa let me know that he, and each of his friends, marked their tools so when they worked on projects together, at the end of the day each man knew which tools were his. I remember thinking how smart this seemed to me.
In the beginning, I decided that I would do the same thing with my growing collection of tools, but it occurred to me that since Grandpa had already made it clear that he wanted me to eventually have his tools, staying with the 3 notch system seemed a better way to go. And to this day, our kids know that Grandpa’s tools, mixed in with mine, all have his “mark” to identify them as his.
When the kids were very young, it became something of a game for them to go to the tool chest and look for the marks on Grandpa’s stuff. Of course, they also learned that the anvil and other larger tools also came from Grandpa’s workshop. In fact, I still have the Stanley Grinder, from 1908, that was used to grind the marks in all these tools.
To be honest, I had forgotten all about the marks until I saw the posts yesterday morning on the tools of past generations. I guess it has become so second nature to me that, although I always see the marks as I work on stuff, they are a natural part of me now and it would never occur to me that the tools ever belonged to anyone else. I still have warm memories each time I enter the workshop in our lower level.
Jesus “marks” each of his people in much the same way that Grandpa marked his tools. We belong to Jesus and the Father has entrusted us to the care of His Son. In fact, in the story of the lost sheep you may recall that Jesus left the 99 in search of the one that was lost and he tells the Father that He has not lost any entrusted to His care, other than Judas who was really of Satan.
The verse for this evening affirms that we belong to Jesus and we have His mark. But don’t be confused – Satan also “marked” those who believed in him and we are to be clear on who we belong to – and that is Jesus. We are told by Paul, in Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
In other words, each of us who believes in Jesus is indwelt with the Holy Spirit – the “mark” referred to by the apostle Paul. My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to belong to Him, and not to Satan.. My prayer is that you will proudly remember the price Jesus paid for our sins and that you will live forever with the Trinity! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…