Sharpen Your Ax!
Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit
Do you sometimes find yourself trying to do more and more for the Lord but with lesser and lesser results?
You may be like the young man I heard about who applied for a job as a logger. The foreman said, "I don't know. Let me see how long it takes you to cut down this tree."
Eager to demonstrate his ability and strength, the young man quickly cut down the big tree. The foreman was very impressed, and said, "You can start tomorrow!"
The young man started the job right away and worked hard for just a few days. Then the foreman came up to him and said, "This is your last day. Please pick up your paycheck when you leave."
Stunned at this news, the young man asked, "What did I do wrong?"
The foreman replied, "We are letting you go today because you've fallen behind. Our daily felling charts show that you've dropped from first place when you arrived until now you are in last place."
"But I don't understand," the young man objected. "I get here before anyone else, I do not leave until after everyone else is gone, and I know I work as hard as anyone else."
The tough old foreman, feeling a moment of sympathy for the young man, thought for a moment and asked, "How often have you sharpened your ax?"
The young man replied, "None, really. I've been working so hard that I have not had the time to sharpen it."
This sad story can be so true of many Christians
in their walk and ministry. They mean well and they work very hard and conscientiously, but because they fail to keep their ax sharpened, their results are lacking.
Our ax is our time spent reading and studying God's Word, the Bible
, and our times of prayer.
Our Lord Jesus set the example and prayed constantly, and He exhorted us to pray. And the apostle Paul wrote, "Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere" (Ephesians 6:18, NLT).
Studying the Bible is important because "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do" (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT).
If prayer and God's Word were important for and needed by the Son of God and for the great apostle Paul, how much more do we need it?
Let us never be too busy to pray and read God's Word, and under gird all that we do with prayer and God's Word. Otherwise, the more work we do, the duller we'll get!
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.