“The load will be delivered on Wednesday morning,” Erich said. They were preparing to break ground around 7:00 AM the following day. Finally, the hardscaping would begin. Rick and Claudia loved the look of the uncut stone.
The stones were various hews of browns, beige, purples, and greys that when the sunlight touches the stone, it brought the colors to life. The stone had a rough texture with jagged edges that gave the house a sense of pristine. She felt the various sizes of stone in the front yard would complement the house’s color, and the brick was like something out of Better Homes and Gardens.
And if you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your chisel on it, you will profane it.~Exodus 20:25 NASB
There are 192 mentions of the word “stone” in the Old Testament. One of the most used places references altar building. Altars were constructed of “uncut” stones. Why such detail in the Bible? The word “uncut” in Hebrew, NASB version of the Bible, means Shalem, meaning full, complete, and undamaged.
Moses instructed the Israelites to build the altar on Mount Ebal of natural, unhewn, or whole stones. As they gathered these uncut stones, they became instrumental in service. God provided for them stones that were not altered by man. These uncut stones are a representation of the Israelites’ true essence. God said it was profane if a tool altered the look of the stones. Like the Old Testament’s uncut stones, God is interested in the authentic. In fact, He does His best work when we come to Him just as we are.
From the Old to the New Testament, God has expressed His love for us, His children. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to the cross, accepting us as we are because His love is unconditional. We can add nothing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’s love. He accepts us enough to die to reclaim us, and redeem us from the effects of sin.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.~John 3:16 NASB
Just like the uncut stones that God commanded Moses to use, representing the perfect depiction of Christ – transforming us from ordinary to positioned for His purposes. Jesus does not want perfection, but He does want our availability, whether on our jobs, with a stranger, or in our community. When we appear uncut, we tell God, “This is who I am,” giving Him the green light to turn us into His workmanship.
Often we try to add to Christ’s redeeming work, but all He wants us to do is to surrender to Him. What a refreshing thought; there is nothing we can do to prove our value. We can do nothing to fix ourselves. But we can bring the raw stuff of our mistakes, doubts, and disappointments so that He can transform the “uncut” version of ourselves into something extraordinary.
Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.~Romans 12:1 NASB
God commanded Moses not to use a tool on the uncut stone altar. The tool was not welcome on the altar here because it was considered a pure place of change aided by nothing other than God’s power. The credit for our redemption belongs to God through His son Jesus Christ, not by our efforts and maneuvering. The altering of stones by human attempts tainted the work of a perfect God. Let us allow Him to fix us even when it is uncomfortable to reveal our “uncut” selves, especially when we can only acknowledge through faith, that what He is doing in us is best.
When I give God the right to see an “uncut” version of myself, my family benefits.~Charles E. Maldon, Jr., author of In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage.
Our families will learn as we yield to God’s loving inspection, that He has a good destiny, and that His love for us is unconditional. They need to see us demonstrate our trust in the One who brings completeness to our souls, as we come to the altar of redemption. When I give God the right to see an “uncut” version of myself, my family benefits. So will yours. Be who God made you, and be willing for Him to craft you into something better, as only He can do.
Do you feel comfortable allowing God to see the uncut version of yourself? What is an area you still need to yield?
Father God, I thank You for your Son Jesus Christ, who redeemed humankind. I thank As I yield to your loving inspection, thank You for smoothing my jagged edges and turning them into something beautiful. Help me to surrender any areas where I am slow to accept Your will.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Genre: Anecdotal story; Fiction. Body; Non-fiction
Copyright 2021: An “Uncut” Version of Me: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved
CHARLES E. MALDON, JR.
Charles E. Maldon Jr., is an ordained reverend, speaker, writer and mentor. However, the title he is most proud of is a servant of Christ.
Charles is a devotion/article writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of marriage, with the goal of helping men improve their marriages.
Charles’s mission in life is to encourage others to know their true value by developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As the Lord continues to mold him, Charles uses his colorful life experiences, both “good and bad”, as real-life ministry tools. He believes there are treasures to be found in every trial—perspective is everything.
The crux of his writing is to bring others to freedom through authentic transparency. In addition to his writing, Charles is the founder/administrator of Break-Thru Ministries, a men’s ministry which focuses on helping the family, especially men, to become all that Christ created them to be. He enjoys helping men to fulfill their calling in life, relationships, and manhood.
He is currently in the process of revising his book, In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage. He is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, and Word Weavers. He also blogs on his ministry page, Break-Thru Ministries, where his hope is to touch someone with the love of Jesus.
Charles is the proud father of two boys and resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife Lekeisha. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
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