August 22

There is a story of a man who was hired to chop down trees in a forest. All he had was his own strength, and an axe. He began on the first day, and he cut down twice what was expected. His thought was that he would be finished much faster than he had thought and that his bosses would be very happy with his work and pay him a bonus. The second day he did not accomplish nearly as much, but he attributed that to the fact that he had tired from the day before. The days following he accomplished less and less. He was frustrated, and frankly disappointed with himself. He felt as strong as he had the first day he started, but his production had decreased with each passing day.

This man should have read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. Solomon wrote, “If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct” (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Solomon gave us a simple, but very powerful truth. Hard work does not always accomplish more. Taking the time to sharpen the axe will take more time, but it will help us to accomplish more in the end. The most productive people are the ones who take time to pay attention to others who have been successful before, and to learn from them. It takes time to do this. Time in which you might feel as though you are accomplishing little, or nothing.

A wise man takes time to “whet the edge” of the axe rather than continuing to swing with all his might with a dull edge. Take a moment to think about what you are doing to keep the “edge” in your walk with God. God has given us the most incredible resource known to man. We have all sixty-six books of the Bible that God breathed out for us. Having a Bible on your shelf that is never opened, is the equivalent of having a grinder in your shop that is capable of sharpening your axe, but that grinder is not plugged in, and is never used.

I would like to challenge you who read this every day to not become dependent on what God touches my heart with every day, but to go to the well yourself and draw from the precious truths God offers you. I am thrilled to be able each day to dip into the well to find truths to share with you, but this is just a cup full. God has a limitless source of truth waiting on the pages of your Bible too. I am hopeful that you have not become so busy with doing good things for God that you have taken no time to sharpen your axe in the Word of God. We can accomplish so much more if we will take the time to sit with an open Bible, and beg God to teach us what we need!

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