The Key to Winning Life’s Challenges

Taken from today’s e-devotional from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

Years ago in Tennessee, two men were competing in an all-day wood chopping competition. The first man worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The second man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the first man was infuriated to see he had lost the competition even though he had worked so hard.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I looked at you, you were resting. But you chopped more wood than I did. How did that happen?!”

“One thing you didn’t notice,” the winner said, “is that every time I sat down, I was sharpening my axe.”

Most people today underestimate the power of taking time to sharpen their axe. They want to have good relationships with others and to do something great with their lives. But they forget that those things take a sharpened axe… character produced by taking time to seek God.

Don’t neglect your axe. Spend time daily sharpening yourself in God’s Word. Connect with God regularly through heartfelt prayer. When you take time to sharpen your axe, you’ll be ready to face any challenge life throws your way as you maximize your Kingdom impact!

Prayer Challenge

Pray and ask God to help you commit daily time toward sharpening yourself to be used for the Kingdom and face any challenge that comes your way.

Questions for Thought

Why do you think many people want to succeed in life but neglect taking time to sharpen themselves?

What are some practical ways you can sharpen yourself on a daily basis to help you face life’s challenges?

Inside Out

Shared from SeniorLivingMinistries.org

From the Inside Out

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'” —Luke 4:4

There’s a story about an old man who lived in the mountains with his young grandson. Each morning, the grandfather would sit at the kitchen table and read from his worn-out Bible. Wanting to be just like his grandfather, the young boy would imitate him by reading his own Bible.

One day the grandson asked, “Grandfather, I try to read the Bible just like you, but I don’t understand it. When I do understand it, I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The grandfather simply replied, “Son, take this old wicker coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”

The boy did as he was told, but the water leaked out of the basket before he could get back to the house. The grandfather sent him back three more times and told him to move faster each time. Every time, the frustrated boy returned with an empty basket.

Finally, out of breath, the young boy said to his grandfather, “See…it’s useless!”

The old man said, “Look at the basket. Instead of a dirty old wicker coal basket, it’s now clean. Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand it or remember everything you read, but when you do, it will change you from the inside out.”

As believers in Christ in a fallen world, you and I must saturate our hearts and minds with the Word of God every day. Just like the young boy above, it may seem that we can’t retain or comprehend everything we read. But remember that God uses His Word to change us from the inside out!

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Make a commitment to the Lord to study His Word faithfully each day. And pray that He will use the Scripture to cleanse you and make you more like Jesus.