Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
Isn't that just a great verse! You can't miss the application. We're nothing without Jesus, so what reason could we ever have to boast? An axe on the ground at the stump of a tree is never going to make that tree fall by itself. A saw set on top of a beam of wood is never going to make one piece two all by itself. It's impossible for a rod or a staff to stand on its own strength. And it's just as ludicrous for us as Christians to take any credit for anything the Lord empowers us and enables us and allows us to accomplish for Him.
Now, it is a great blessing and a privilege to be in the Master's service. It's a great honor to be entrusted with the gospel message and to have the responsibility of carrying that message to the lost. It's a wonderful thing that God would entrust us with spiritual gifts and natural abilities to be used to minister to His people. And there's nothing better than to be used by God to accomplish something that will count for all eternity.
To stand in a public place and distribute gospel tracts or hold a scripture sign. To proclaim the name of Christ from house to house on a Sunday afternoon. To lead someone to the Lord, as some of you did in Honduras. To minister to a congregation in sermon or in song. To labor together with other believers in prayer. To speak an encouraging word at just the right time to a friend.
But at those times when God allows us to accomplish something for His honor and glory, let's be sure it's for His honor and glory. Let's remember that it's not us, but Christ Who lives in us. Let's remember that without Him we can do nothing. Let's not be an axe bragging to the lumberjack. Let's not be a saw boasting to the carpenter. Let's yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God and realize that we're nothing more than vessels to be used as He sees fit.
One of the greatest Christians who ever lived was led by the Holy Spirit to make this confession in 1 Corinthians 15:10, But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain…