12-2-2018 Let the Torch Do the Work


December 2, 2018




I’ve mentioned before that my grandparents owned Surbrook Hardware in Rives Junction during my youth. Working with and around that environment gave me a tremendous leg up on the learning curve of work ethic. One of the services that the hardware provided was eves trough installation. Keep in mind this was many years before the continuously extruded eves of today. Each piece came in a set length and you either cut a piece down to fit the length of eve or you soldered two pieces together to gain length. By the time I was 8, I was helping dad on the ladder holding one end of the lengths in place while dad secured them to the eves. By the time I was 10 I had learned to handle the soldering torch and soldered joints.


The torch was actually an old brass blow torch. You would fill it with fuel, pump up the pressure, slightly turn the valve and ignite the flame. You would then place the soldering iron in a cradle on top of the torch with the wedged end of the iron in the flame. Once that was completed the pressure was increased by further opening the valve. Soon the wedge end of the iron would glow with just the right color indicating the correct temperature had been reached. The tools were now ready to meld the two pieces into one.


My experience started slow. When we weren’t up against a deadline dad would spend time showing me how correct soldering was done. As I recall my learning curve, the task was as much mental as it was physical. I recall that the issue I continually encountered was getting the iron into the correct position where the heat would draw the solder into the joint. For the first few hundred tries I was always too fast or too far away and the solder would just bead up in the flux and two pieces remained two pieces. I can still hear dad’s words to this day… “Son, you have to allow the heat to draw the solder. Let the iron do the work.”


Still good advice for both soldering and Christian work today. In our Bible study last Wednesday, we discussed dying churches. One of the questions someone asked was, “What can we do to draw more people?” I believe the answer is still within dad’s words of advice. “Let the iron do the work and allow the heat to draw the solder in.” Let me explain…


No “person” in any church grows the church… God does that work through the Holy Spirit. Oh, don’t misunderstand me, God uses us as instruments of growth. He uses our personalities, our gifts and even our weaknesses in His work. But outside of our obedience there is nothing we can do in our own power that will draw people in or grow the church. It’s always God who does that work as He applies the ‘heat’… that draws mankind near to Him.


Hebrews 7:25 (NASB)
25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.


Never be mistaken… I love to see church growth and find myself confident that church growth is a reflection of God’s work. But real “forever” growth are names added to the Book of Life.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry