8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:8

I grew up in a garage. Having a father as a mechanic led to the turning of many wrenches. I used to take pride in my ability to discern the right size tool at a glance. Come on, how cool is it to look at a bolt, pull out a 9/16 wrench and have it fit on the first try?! Clicking sockets has always been fun for me. Even now I enjoy mechanical work because the impact is always immediately evident. If you fix it, the engine fires up and runs and if it’s not fixed you just keep tinkering until you get it. Depending on the issue it can take time and persistence. My problem was that I always lacked patience when I had to keep trying.

Speaking of patience and persistence, have you ever tried to loosen a bolt that won’t budge? Every mechanic knows the challenge and relishes the opportunity to loosen a seized bolt. For impatient guys like me there are many tricks to the trade. You can try to double wrench it, use a breaker bar, apply a little heat with the acetylene torch, or, my personal favorite, use an impact ratchet to break a bolt free. From my perspective, there is no better sound than the pulsating thug of an impact ratchet followed by the high pitched zing of a nut or bolt breaking loose. For a persistent mechanic it is the sound of victory they’d been waiting for. The impact ratchet had its intended impact.

If you followed all of that, then you’ll understand that forging is much like an impact ratchet.  Trials and difficulties have a way of pulsating on our souls until the stuck parts of our spiritual lives break free. This week Peter breaks out the impact ratchet of truth and applies it to circumstances. He wants us to see that the impact of forging is purposed by God to have an immediate effect in our lives. Take some time to read 1 Peter 3:8-17 and take note to all the impact we are able to have in the midst of our forging. I can’t wait to be back with you this Sunday. As we open God’s word we’ll see how the Lord is at work in our lives. You can be sure that He knows the size wrench to use, He’s never busted a knuckle, and his impact is always for our good.

Love you church!

Jerry Lingenfelter
Senior Pastor