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Shaping Life

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:1-2 (NKJV)

I recently watched a life story video about Terry Martin.  Terry was the father of my friend David Bailey, and he was a world-renowned surfboard shaper—It is estimated that he shaped approximately 80,000 boards for Hobie over the last 40 years. 

I found Terry’s message to be very inspirational and chock full of wisdom.  Speaking of his craft, Terry said, “Shaping to me kind of parallels what God does with us down here; He shapes us and He forms us.  Now, if it makes me happy to form that rail by using the sanding block and the talent that’s been given to me, then how much more stoked is God when He’s trying to form us and we’re pliable and can be formed?”   

Terry shared a Bible verse he learned as a young boy, and he spoke of how it impacted him.  The verse was Jesus saying, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NKJV).  Terry’s advice?   “Stay simple, don’t get cluttered…so your thinking can be clear on what does matter.”

When we think about this we would all have to agree it is great advice—we would be wise to stay simple, and keep from getting our life all cluttered with the cares, desires, and worries of this world.  Our Lord is not opposed to us enjoying our lives, and what He has created for us to enjoy, but we should never lose focus on what is really important in life, which is knowing and loving our Lord, glorifying Him in our actions, and sharing Him with others (Matt. 28:19-20; John 14:15; 1 Cor. 10:31).

Terry had melanoma cancer and it took his physical life this year, but through his faith in Jesus Christ he had been given great hope and an assurance of eternal life.  He knew the cancer was just a tool in God’s hands to shape him for eternal purposes, much like the tools he had used in shaping surfboards, and because of his faith he was given a great peace about facing death, saying, "I know where I'm going. And that's comforting," he said. "If we didn't have any hope, we'd probably be angry people, and try to squeeze out another week of life. Even if we had 150 years, what is that to eternity? Nothing."

I want to encourage you today to meditate upon these things. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 John 3:1-2 when will we see God’s shaping work completely finished in us?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you looking at your trials as a part of God’s shaping process, and are you allowing God to form you through these times?

APPLICATION: Let’s choose to embrace our trials and understand our Lord is in control.  He will use everything for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).  Life is only a granule of sand in the beach of eternity.

LET’S PRAY: Father, we thank You for the shaping process that You are doing in our lives.  We are sorry for those times where we have cried foul, and have kicked and screamed rather than seeking Your will and trusting You.  Help us to remember that You are shaping us for eternity and will continue this process until we see you face-to-face.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Terry Martin’s Testimonial Video:

Article with Orange County Register.

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000