Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 27:17
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
Iron is a hard metal. If we have a dull iron knife and wish to sharpen it so that it becomes sharper and can be used for the purpose it was designed, trying to sharpen it using wood will not work. The knife would have an effect on the wood, but there would be no effect on the knife except possibly to dull it even more. Whatever you use to sharpen the knife, it must be at least as hard as the knife itself. And the same is true of the metaphorical meaning; those who are not as knowledgeable in the word, the dull, should be assisted by the more knowledgeable, the sharp.
This is why it is important for Christians to gather together and support each other. The writer of Hebrews is very clear on this subject. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25. We are called to come together regularly in order to encourage each other to stand firm in our faith. This was the practice of the early church. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42. Note the wording “continually devoting themselves”. This was not a “once in a while” thing. Luke uses the word ‘continually’, and this should be our model as well.
Discipleship is a very necessary component in our Christian walk. As Christians, we are to teach everyone what the truth of this Christian walk is while being open to be taught as well. “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1. There is a lot of false teachings permeating our culture today. We see this in a lot of our churches. A big one is focusing on what we can get from God as opposed to what we can give to God. Another is that we cannot be perfect, so why try since all our sins are covered. We who know better need to be on the watch for heretical beliefs and counter them so they can know the truth and not be deceived by these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Too often, Christian fellowship is resigned to a couple hours on Sunday and another couple of hours on Wednesday. And much of it is for entertainment purposes rather than actual fellowshipping, encouragement, and discipleship. We have so many young Christians in our churches, and this is a primary group that needs sharpening, using the metaphor as stated in our focus verse. Discipleship does not have to be a scheduled event but could be just discussions among friends.
It is so important that we take every opportunity to sharpen each other in our Christian life. Let us discuss areas that we find difficult and help each other live it out in our daily lives. What better way is there to show how much we love God then to ensure we all are clear about the reality of this life? And what better way to show our brothers and sisters we love them by helping them clear up wrong beliefs or ambiguities that hold them back from a true understanding? And we need to show through the scriptures why what you believe is truth. And one more thing. If our Christian life is the most important thing, should this not be seen in the amount of time we spend talking and focusing on it?
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.