If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. Ecclesiastes 10:10
In my younger days, I chopped firewood, I used an axe. Then, “God” invented the chain saw and I could cut more wood and cut it faster, but like the axe, with time it didn’t cut so well. I found out that even with all its power, even a chain saw became dull. A dull ax means harder work. Being wise will make it easier.
The lesson I learned is that no matter what cutting instrument one uses, with time it becomes dull and ineffective. Our Christian faith is like that. To be sharp, we have to stay sharp and the Bible tells us how.
God said to sharpen your sword by placing the Word of God in you! (Ephesians 6:17). To me there is nothing more sad than a powerless Christian with a dull sword.
The story is told of a newly hired lumberjack who felled more trees on his first day than anyone else. By the fourth day, however, his output had fallen so far that his supervisor asked him what was wrong.
The man said, “I don’t understand. I’m working even harder than before but cutting less timber.” The supervisor asked the lumberjack how often he sharpened his ax. He replied, “I have too many trees to cut — I don’t have time to sharpen my ax.”
As believer’s we seem to have a built-in God given ability to sharpen ourselves and each other as we utilize the tools and relationships that God has given us such as:
▪ A growing relationship with The Lord.
▪ Abiding in, reading, studying and living out God’s Word.
▪ Being active in prayer.
▪ Allowing The Holy Spirit to work in your life.
▪ Growing with The Body of Christ doing life together as each of us play our individual parts as part of The Body serving God and each other.
God has given us all the tools and resources we need and as we actively utilize these tools and people God has placed in our lives no matter through times of trial or times of peace, we will continue to be sharpened.
As we do life together, God allows friction to take place and with this friction we should become sharpened as the dull edges we have in our lives are smoothed away.
Are you keeping your axe sharp?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Author, educator and theologian, Howard Thurman, once told a story about one of his university students, a deep-sea diver, who wrote about his experience on the ocean floor.
Discovering a coral rock garden, he sat down to look around. First, a single fish swam up to look at him. Then more and more fish were swimming around him. Soon, the garden became more intense. More vivid. More colorful. Plants opened revealing their blossoms.
After sitting there a long while, he began to swim away and suddenly the flowers and fish disappeared. They were living things that only emerged when there was stillness.
Glenn Pease who related Thurman’s story observed that the diver realized that if you come thrashing and splashing into such a garden you would never experience its full beauty. “He learned that there are marvelous things you will never see unless you sit in silence.”
We’re reminded of this truth in Psalm 46:10. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
In a culture of endless hustle and bustle. With 24-hour cable news being piped into our homes. With music blaring everywhere. With the sound of traffic and horns beeping. Cell phones ringing. Children yelling. And endless chatter all around us. Silence becomes a sweet respite.
This verse reminds us there is a time to tune out the noise and tune in to God. We all need periods of sanctified silence. Preacherman
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Florida is second nationally for Alzheimer’s, and expected to grow 24 percent by 2025.
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A 21st century Jewish Rabbi shared this striking statement about the power of words:
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively use words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” JIM ROHN
The fraying of America’s fabric is fast becoming a national obsession. Adrian Rogers
Build a dream and the dream will build you.” ROBERT H. SCHULLER
God will never call you to do anything that He will not enable you to do. Dan Shock
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become reality.” EARL NIGHTINGALE
Thank God we can’t escape His presence. Dan Shock
When you die you will spend eternity in heaven or hell and eternity is a long time. Ken Whitten
God doesn’t want you to worship or serve Him out of pressure or emotional frenzy. Dan Shock
Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” NAPOLEON HILL